Multi-sectoral strategy for brucellosis control in Eastern Africa

Project consortium and fund




Makerere University

Prof. Joseph Erume (PI)

University of Hohenheim

Prof. Wolfgang Beyer

University of Navarra

Prof. Ignacio Moriyon

Autonomous University of Barcellona

Prof. Ignasi Marco

CITA: Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon

Dr. Jose Maria Blasco

University of Nairobi

Prof. Lilly Caroline Bebora

Daktari, Uganda

Dr. Jesus Muros Figueres

CZ Veterinaria

Dr. Pascual Rey Blanco

Fund: 738,733 €

Thematic and geographic area of the project:

  • Sustainable food security
  • Pest and disease control

Our project contributes to sustainable food security through enhanced capacity for diagnosis, surveillance and control of brucellosis in livestock. The effect of this is improved survival, health and productivity of the livestock hence availability of more animal source foods to feed the people.

Our project also contributes to pest and disease control since it will lead to identification of the brucella species involved in the causation of brucellosis in livestock, wildlife and humans in East Africa. This information will inform on the brucella vaccine(s) to be employed for the control of this disease in livestock by vaccination. We will contribute further on this through piloting of mass vaccination of livestock using identified vaccines. Thus we will contribute to minimization of production losses and avoid geographical spreading of this disease.

Project’s summary/abstract:                    

Brucellosis is a key zoonotic disease affecting the livelihoods of many poor resource people particularly Sub Saharan Africa. It’s constraining the health and productivity of livestock leading to reduced incomes and food insecurity and places barrier to marketing of livestock and their products. Among people, the burden of the disease remains high globally with over 500,000 new human infections annually. Spread to humans is often through consumption of contaminated dairy products and contact with diseased animals. Infected people suffer debilitating illness often with complications and death. Most developed countries have eradicated or severely controlled brucellosis in animals through application of diagnostic tools and vaccines and this has led to its elimination in human populations. Use of these technologies for livestock brucellosis control in developing countries is jeopardized by multiple technical, economic, social and knowledge factors e.g. lack of reliable diagnostics, training as well as unrecognized / underappreciated burden of the disease in animals and humans. Uganda and Kenya are greatly affected but don’t have control programs against this disease. This project will be on the pastoralist and agro-pastoralist livestock systems in these Eastern African countries. A multi-sectorial strategy linking academia, private sector and other partners is proposed to provide institutional, technical, biological and social answers to the effective control of brucellosis through vaccination in these contiguous countries. Provision of requisite equipment and supplies and training of professionals in animal and human health practices will build capacity for diagnosis, surveillance as well as research on the disease. The project will identify the different Brucellas infecting livestock and hence appropriate vaccines, raise awareness, biosafety and biosecurity & determine modalities for and start control.

Project’s main objective(s):                             

  1. Develop capacity at Makerere and University of Nairobi to diagnose and conduct local research on brucellosis.
  2. Build capacity and train local veterinarians, doctors and laboratory technicians to diagnose and conduct surveillance of brucellosis using applied diagnostics.
  3. Isolate, characterize and map brucella infecting wildlife, domestic ruminants and humans.
  4. Raise awareness, Biosafety and Biosecurity and pilot vaccinations to reduce domestic ruminants’ brucellosis to pre-eradication levels in the study countries

6. Theory of Change and Impact Pathway

Summary ToC with assumptions                         

This project if supported, funds availed timely and research environment conducive, will reduce prevalence of livestock brucellosis in Eastern Africa to pre-eradication levels. Activities are:

  1. Build capacity of universities and local veterinary and medical labs on brucellosis diagnostics and training of young researchers, local veterinarians, medical practitioners and technicians,
  2. Field sampling to isolate, type and map Brucella infecting wildlife, domestic ruminants and humans,
  3. Conduct stakeholder dissemination workshops and develop control protocols, and
  4. Pilot mass vaccination of livestock. Impacts are improved capacity for research and surveillance, adoption of mass vaccination of livestock and reduction of human brucellosis cases.

Expected outcomes and impact:                          

  1. Diagnostics acquired by universities and field labs actively utilized by local staff for brucellosis investigations.
  2. The trainees, i.e. university staff and field veterinarians, medical personnel and technicians, utilize acquired skills for brucellosis research and/or surveillance.
  3. Masters and PhD students acquire degrees.
  4. Brucella species identified utilized to identify vaccines for deployment in East Africa.
  5. Women and youth groups, community leaders and other stakeholders sensitized and educated about brucellosis and given project feed-back, utilize this knowledge to mitigate brucellosis in their communities/countries.
  6. Women groups, youth groups, farmers, veterinarians & medics, utilize developed brucellosis control protocols to start vaccinating livestock against brucellosis.
  7. Publications of the findings in peer reviewed journals for utilization by wider audience. The contribution to impact the project aims at is the reduction of human brucellosis cases in East Africa.