EMQ - UK Spain support to understanding and controlling emergence of infectious disease in the Queen Elizabeth National Park and Enclaves Uganda

Lead Research Organisation: Royal Veterinary College
Department Name: Pathology and Pathogen Biology


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Description The engagement with our partners UAB and in the context of Uganda and the Western Rift it is clear that there are certain priorities for research work in the livestock wildlife interface.
1) Bovine TB appears less of a concern in the context to the system where it infects wildlife and livestock but the social, economic and biodiversity impacts appear minimal including low zoonotic risk. This might be a result of the ecosystem and resilience of indigenous cattle breeds and wildlife populations.
2) PPR is a possible factor in the local disease portfolio but for some reason it is not emerging on the veterinary services agenda perhaps due to under-reporting or failure to complete diagnosis.
3) Local farmers have identified key animal health and land use conflict issues for consideration in any research development. Notably:
Fever in cattle
Diarrhoea in cattle
Headache in cattle
Skin lesions cattle/people
Pollution/ poisoning especially in wildlife
Tick borne diseases

After discussion it was clear cattle are the main economic concern. After participatory attempts to allocate probable diagnosis to syndromes, it was concluded that the vector borne diseases remain high impact and largely neglected (link to headache and abortion in cattle), and internal parasite burdens persist (contributing to diarrhoea), and a particular problem appears to be un-researched seasonal diarrhoea in cattle sheep and goats (linked to rains, trypanosomiasis and possibly other internal parasites), and resource conflicts are an issue at the interface. Fever and abortion in cattle could be linked to e.g. blood parasites, brucellosis and anthrax. Skin disease was common most probably including sarcoptic mange and ring worm which are zoonotic. Further to this we have focused on PPR virus infection in small ruminants which is becoming more prominent in the disease profile of the Western Uganda region. Serology and swab samples from livestock have been provided by the collaboration and data on livestock systems and disease. These are being incorporated now into the PPR database at RVC and samples are due to be sent to Pirbright UK for analysis and integration into the synthesis publication under the separate PPR specific projects IUEPPR and GCRF PPR.
Exploitation Route Exploring possible projects to explore sustainable agricultural systems in both Africa and Europe with a focus on the livestock/wildlife economy and interface concerns.

Consideration of TB control in this open system needs to take into account the cost benefit of various strategies and the current resilience of the animal populations and agricultural systems. Focus of research also needs to shift to better understanding of wildlife prevalence and persistence. The findings might influence thinking around the introduction of dairy or so-called improved breeds like Holstein Friesian which might spell disaster to the apparent current disease equilibrium with low impact of BTB in the cattle. Use of fencing might also disturb the current disease status between wildlife and livestock.

Priorities identified for further veterinary research and for NGO and government veterinary activity in the region.

PPR findings in livestock arising under this partnership have supported the IUEPPR project ongoing on wildlife in the region. Further work on PPR virus in East Africa using the data and concepts developed during this award continue to support the GCRF project in Kenya and Tanzania ongoing.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

Description The findings are being assimilated at the Veterinary Services and NADDEC epidemiological services in Uganda at the Ministry of Agriculture and at the Uganda Wildlife Services. Local communities are now more aware of prevalence of certain diseases and this may influence practice especially with respect to bovine TB. This effort has led to ongoing collaboration on a separate BBSRC project on PPR virus with the NGO and Vet Services in the target ecosystems. This is providing parallel data from livestock systems to correlate with the findings from wildlife. A student of the UAB is now helping assimilate the Daktari data on PPR from livestock into outputs from the IUEPRR project under a temporary research assistant post. This work has led to the drafting of a synthesis paper on the western Rift in Uganda and PPR
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Societal,Economic

Title PPRV wildlife and livestock surveillance Uganda database 
Description Data from field missions collection of samples and laboratory analysis of samples. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Providing critical information for completion and outcome of the project and related projects 
Description UAB - RVC - Daktari collaboration on bovine TB and sustainable livestock systems 
Organisation Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB)
Department Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Country Spain 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Information on TB from studies in wildlife and livestock in and around Queen Elizabeth National Park - helping implementation of veterinary support programme of UAB-Daktari NGO partnership. Opportunity for incorporating PPR studies into their portfolio of work from 2015. Obtained Partnership Grant
Collaborator Contribution Physical and Material support to our programme on Bovine TB in QENP. Physical Material and Data support to the BBSRC PPR research IUEPPR Support to development of proposals for H2020 funding on sustainable agriculture
Impact Improved knowledge of TB prevalence in wildlife and livestock in Western Uganda Akigera ecosystem. Data on PPR provided from livestock systems surrounding the QENP 2015, 2016, 2017 and further south during PPR outbreak in 2017. Provision of serum for serology on PPR.
Start Year 2013
Description Uganda Farmers Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Workshop to explore disease concerns at the livestock wildlife human interface in Western Rift Uganda focused on Queen Elizabeth National Park. This brought farmers, policy makers, agencies, non government sector, professionals together to discuss disease in the context of local issues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
Description Workshop Spain University Autonomous Barcelona Faculty Vet Medicine 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Participants in your research and patient groups
Results and Impact Provided boundaries for collaboration between UAB and RVC

Clear areas for future collaboration in H2020 call - now exploring possibilities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014