Isolation and purification of Nairobi sheep disease virus for development of a thermostable vaccine

Project summary

Nairobi sheep disease virus (NSDV) causes severe illness in sheep and goats, with fatalities reaching up to 90% in affected animals. This disease is widespread in Eastern Africa and in Indian subcontinent where it is known as Ganjam virus. It causes considerable losses, especially to small scale farmers. Sheep and goats are also an important source of proteins and provide income through sales. The control of NSDV will thus make a positive contribution to the rural poor. This project aims to contribute towards control and eradication of NSDV, by developing a vaccine that is effective against NSDV. Field studies will be done to obtain tick samples, NSDV isolated from the ticks, and grow in the laboratory. The purified NSDV isolates will be inactivated using formalin to generate an inactivated vaccine candidate and this vaccine will then be tested in sheep to confirm that the vaccine is indeed protective against NSDV.