Tag Archives: sickness

Vaccine created at UCT to prevent African horse sickness


Cape Town – Researchers at UCT’s Biopharming Research Institute (BRU) have created a vaccine candidate to help prevent a highly infectious and deadly disease, African horse sickness (AHS), from affecting tobacco plants.

The devastating disease is prevalent in Africa, with up to 90% of infected horses dying in some outbreaks.

AHS disease of horses is transmitted by insect bites. The commercial vaccine known as a live-attenuated vaccine remains effective but carries some risks.

Professor Ed Rybicki, director of the BRU, said the new vaccine candidate was extremely immunogenic.

“It also produces neutralising antibodies when administered to healthy horses. That means that the vaccine works really well in initial tests, but needs to be tested against an actual outbreak of AHS before it can be…

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African Sleeping Sickness Lifecycle Secrets Revealed


The tiny Teste fly has been a scourge for centuries in many parts of Africa, spreading the debilitating and even deadly disease called African sleeping sickness. Now, investigators from Clemson University have released new findings focusing on the biological cues that signal the parasite which causes the disease—Trypanosoma brucei—to change life cycle stages as it moves from host to host. Findings from the new study were published recently in mSphere through an article titled “Glucose Signaling Is Important for Nutrient Adaptation during Differentiation of Pleomorphic African Trypanosomes.”

“There are a number of questions about how the parasite grows and develops in the fly and then gets transmitted to humans and other mammals,” noted senior study investigator James…

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Researchers reveal secrets of parasite that causes African sleeping sickness


The parasite that causes African sleeping sickness can cause death in humans if not treated. Credit: College of Science

A team of Clemson University researchers wants to protect humans and other mammals from the debilitating and even deadly effects of African sleeping sickness.


James Morris, a Clemson professor in the College of Science’s department of genetics and biochemistry, said that studying the cause of the disease is vital because, although the transmission of African sleeping sickness by tsetse flies has been studied for more than 100 years, the secret to the…

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‘Tiny Targets’ Aid in Fighting African Sleeping Sickness


NEW ORLEANS — Deployment of an extremely simple device in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) appeared to dramatically reduce the tsetse fly population, though whether it cut transmission rates for gambiense-human African trypanosomiasis (gHAT) remains to be seen, a researcher said here.

Called “Tiny Targets,” the device consists of insecticide-treated fabric not much bigger than a handkerchief, mounted on a stick and placed along rivers and other water bodies where tsetse flies congregate, explained Inaki Tirados, PhD, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England.

The devices were installed in three yearly phases during 2015-2017 as part of a broader effort to combat gHAT (also…

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A possible role for domestic dogs in the spread of African horse sickness virus


African horse sickness – a truly horrible disease

African horse sickness (AHS) is well known as one of the worst diseases affecting horses out there. Just like both Ebola in people and African swine fever virus in pigs, it causes severe haemorrhage and oedema in all organ systems. Affected horses essentially suffocate as their lungs fill with fluid.

The disease is caused by infection with African horse sickness virus (AHSV), which is transmitted between equids by certain species of Culicoides biting midges and is not thought to be transmitted by other means. Although currently confined to sub-Saharan Africa, the virus has a history of spreading outside Africa, where it has caused devastating outbreaks in the Middle East, as well as in Spain and Portugal. Given the recent northward expansion of…

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*** This news item is 3rd party content and is included strictly for non-commercial informational purposes.

What is African horse sickness?


A post-mortem being carried out on a filly that died of a peracute case (dunkop) of AHS. By law, a spleen sample must be taken to confirm the diagnosis.
Photo: Dr Mac

It is now also possible to treat even severe cases successfully, but early diagnosis is key. Fortunately, a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test can be used to confirm the presence of the AHS virus.

Indeed, vets are now obliged to take a blood sample from a live horse, or a spleen specimen at post-mortem, if they suspect AHS. Both the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Veterinary Science Equine Genetics Laboratory and the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute can perform the test.

Don’t try to take a sample yourself, as certain diseases that have similar signs to AHS, such as West Nile fever and Lyme disease, can be transmitted to…

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***News stories appearing in this Feed are 3rd party content and are included strictly for non-commercial informational purposes.