Foot-and-Mouth disease vaccination could reduce poverty in Eastern Africa

Issued: Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:21:00 BST

New research led by Dr Tiziana Lembo, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, published in Nature Ecology and Evolution shows that vaccinating livestock against foot-and-mouth disease could help to reduce poverty in Eastern Africa. The research looked at the causes and effects of foot-and-mouth disease in Tanzania, surveying farming households and examining how the disease passed to livestock.

The team found that foot-and-mouth disease is a major concern among local people and that it has a high economic burden due to major reductions in milk production and sales, with devastating consequences on communities reliant on milk as a protein source.

The study concludes that the early detection of currently circulating virus types, coupled with proactive serotype-specific vaccination, could cost-effectively mitigate the economic and health impacts of foot-and-mouth disease in eastern Africa.