ILRI40


This poster, prepared for the ILRI@40 series of events, highlights past trends and future predictions of emerging zoonotic infectious diseases using a conceptual framework of the causal links between livestock keeping, nutrition and health outcomes among the poor.

 

Visit ilri.org/40 for more information.

Follow #ilri40 on Twitter.

The contribution of livestock to human and animal health was among the several topics discussed at a high-profile conference organized by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 6-7 November 2014. The theme of the conference was Livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security, economic well-being and healthy lives.

The conference was the culmination of a series of events organized this year to mark 40 years of livestock research by ILRI and its predecessors, the International Laboratory for Research on Animal Diseases (ILRAD) and the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA).

Discussions under the sub-theme of ‘livestock and healthy lives’ began on the morning of the first day of the conference with a featured talk by Lorne Babiuk, vice president for research at the University of Alberta on how healthy animals can improve the health, welfare and economy of people.

Lorne Babiuk, vice-president for research at the University of Alberta

Lorne Babiuk presents a featured talk titled Healthy animals equals healthy, productive people at the ILRI@40 conference held on 6-7 November 2014 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

In his presentation, Babiuk noted that smallholder farmers dominate livestock production in many developing countries and globally, one billion poor people depend on livestock for their livelihoods.

However, despite the potential of smallholder livestock production to contribute to meeting the growing demand for animal protein in the developing world, the livestock sector is beset by several challenges such as emerging diseases and limited natural resources for raising livestock.

Zoonotic diseases, in particular, have impacts on international trade, food prices and human health.

Babiuk then discussed three biotechnology options that can be used to improve livestock production: vaccines, breeding and selection of disease-resistant animals, and marker-assisted management to produce better quality carcasses.

“Vaccination, in my opinion, has been one of the most cost-effective approaches for the management of infectious diseases,” he said.

“In fact, it’s been stated that vaccination has saved more lives than all other therapeutic interventions in the world.”

He also gave examples of how genetics can be used to improve productivity through classical breeding and selection and use of genomic tools.

Babiuk summed up his presentation by stating that increasing food security will become more critical as the world population increases and that “healthy animals equals healthy people equals healthy environment equals stable economic environments”.

.

Continuing with the underlying theme of Babiuk’s talk, a roundtable discussion was held in the afternoon to examine the relationship between livestock, nutrition and health.

John McDermott, director of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, moderated the discussion. The panellists were Walter Masiga, the World Organisation for Animal Health sub-regional representative for eastern Africa; Juliana Rwelamira, managing director of Sasakawa Africa Association and Vish Nene, director of ILRI’s livestock vaccines initiative.

Vish Nene, Juliana Rwelamira and Walter Masiga, panelists at ILRI@40 roundtable discussion on livestock and healthy lives

Left to Right: Vish Nene (ILRI), Juliana Rwelamira (Sasakawa Africa Association) and Walter Masiga (World Organisation for Animal Health) take part in a roundtable discussion on livestock and healthy lives at the ILRI@40 Addis Ababa conference (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

McDermott began with an overview of the controversial and somewhat counterintuitive role of livestock in nutrition.

He noted that while animal-source foods are important sources of nutrition for poor people in low-income countries, there is underconsumption of livestock products by the poor on account of the high price of meat, milk and eggs relative to that of cereals.

On the other hand, overconsumption of livestock products in high-and middle-income countries has led to an increase in cases of obesity and related non-communicable diseases, a trend that is starting to emerge in low-income countries as well.

McDermott also noted that while meat, milk and eggs are good sources of vital nutrients, there are considerable health risks associated with livestock and livestock products.

“The most nutritious foods are also the most risky. You’re not going to get very sick eating rice as compared to eating spoiled milk or meat,” he said.

Intensification of agriculture to increase the supply of livestock is also associated with environmental contamination and increase of microbial populations, he added, noting that three-quarters of emerging diseases are zoonotic.

The roundtable discussion sought to link the economic development agenda of the livestock sector with issues related to health and nutrition.

Among the topics discussed were the One Health approach for more effective control of emerging diseases; vaccines and diagnostics; value chain development to reduce postharvest food losses and improve food safety and nutritional quality; risk-based approaches to food safety in informal markets and strengthening of national control systems to prevent misuse of antibiotics in treatment of animals.

The outcomes of the discussions on livestock and health on the first day of the conference fed into a parallel session on the second day. The aim of the session was to look into the future to identify the key priority areas for research on livestock and health in the next 40 years.

About 20 participants, mostly veterinary practitioners, took part in the parallel session on livestock and healthy lives which began with three scene-setting PowerPoint presentations and one poster presentation by scientists from ILRI’s Food Safety and Zoonoses program:

Following the presentations, the participants split into three groups for an in-depth discussion of the identified priority areas for research on livestock and health in the next 40 years. The discussions were based on their individual experiences, the content of the three presentations and current global trends in animal and human health.

They identified the following three priority areas for research on livestock and health:

  • emerging infectious diseases;
  • vaccines and diagnostics; and
  • antimicrobial residues and resistance.

Research on emerging infectious diseases needs to focus on increased understanding of the drivers of disease, for example, agricultural intensification, climate change, new farming systems, irrigation and increased mobility of animals and people. Research activities could include mapping, modelling and analysis of vectors; vector control through the use of ‘green’ insecticides; biological control of vectors and adoption of the Ecohealth approach to disease prevention and control.

Research on vaccines should be aimed at developing safe, single-dose, affordable ‘combination’ vaccines that are easy to deliver and target multiple pathogens. Rapid diagnostics that can be used along the food chain and are linked into large databases for surveillance can provide early warning systems for quick detection and reporting of potential health hazards and timely intervention.

Research on antibiotic residues and resistance needs to ensure prudent use of antimicrobials for treatment of farm animals to avoid residues in animal-source food products. The transfer of antibiotic resistance from animals to milk, meat and eggs was also identified as an important research area.

Dieter Schillinger

Dieter Schillinger leads a group discussion on antimicrobial residues and resistance as a priority area for research on livestock and healthy lives (photo credit: ILRI/Apollo Habtamu).

The group summed up the vision of ILRI’s livestock-for-health research in the next 40 years as follows:

ILRI research has contributed to appropriate health management systems leading to healthy animals, people and ecosystems and increase animal-source food and income for all’.

Rift Valley fever, a viral disease that is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, causes abortion and stillbirth in livestock and can cause serious conditions such as haemorrhagic fever and encephalitis in humans.

Download a brief that illustrates how scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) are working to identify key drivers for Rift Valley fever occurrence and transmission, and develop decision support tools to guide responses at various stages of the epidemic cycle of the disease.

Developed after the last devastating Rift Valley fever outbreak in Kenya in 2006-07, these research outputs are designed to enable decision-makers to take timely, evidence-based decisions to prevent and control future epidemics and reduce their impacts.

In particular, the Government of Kenya has incorporated the decision support tool in its Rift Valley fever contingency plan and local governments in the country regularly use outputs from ILRI’s work to assess their level of preparedness.

ILRI scientist Silvia Alonso presents at the 6th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture

ILRI scientist Silvia Alonso presents at the 6th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture held at Nairobi, Kenya on 27-30 October 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Tezira Lore).

Scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) yesterday (28 Oct 2014) presented some of their recent research findings from studies on animal health and food safety in East Africa at the 6th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture. The conference is being held from 27 to 30 October 2014 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Some 300 participants from all over Africa and beyond are attending the conference whose theme is Africa’s animal agriculture: Macro-trends and future opportunities. The five conference sub-themes are:

  • Youth: The future hope?
  • Which way for smallholder production systems?
  • Pastoral systems: Options for tomorrow
  • Market access: Opportunities for enhanced access to local, regional and global markets
  • Africa’s human capacity challenge for animal agriculture: Which way now?

Silvia Alonso, a postdoctoral scientist with ILRI’s Food Safety and Zoonoses program presented the following two papers:

Results from a study on Kenyan milk consumers’ behaviour and perceptions of aflatoxin were also presented. This study was a joint output of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health and the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets.

Additionally, the following ILRI posters on smallholder dairying in Tanzania and pastoralism in Kenya and Tanzania featured in the poster session:

 

Posters by projects in ILRI's Food Safety and Zoonoses program featured at the 6th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture

Posters by projects in ILRI’s Food Safety and Zoonoses program featured at the 6th All Africa Conference on Animal Agriculture held at Nairobi, Kenya on 27-30 October 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Tezira Lore).

 

 

Agriculture imposes large burdens on human health. Three million deaths a year and one-quarter of all deaths from infection are agriculture-associated, and almost all of these occur in developing countries.

Zoonotic and food-borne diseases kill 2.2 million people and sicken 2.4 billion people annually; poor people are most affected by these diseases. For 70% of agriculture-associated diseases, proven and cost-effective agricultural solutions exist.

The presentation below, made at the Tropentag 2014 conference, gives an overview of the global burden of zoonotic and food-borne diseases and some research-based interventions that can be used to prevent and control these diseases.

.

Healthy lives: Tackling food-borne diseases and zoonoses

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ILRI@40 side event on livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.  See all the posters.

Currently new diseases are emerging at the rate of one every four months and three out of four of these diseases jump species from other animals. Many of these diseases are associated with agriculture. Scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) led two systematic reviews of disease emergence and burden to help in prioritization. The poster below, prepared for the Tropentag 2014 conference, presents the key findings of the reviews.

.

Sustainable intensification?: Implications for the emergence of diseases

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ILRI@40 side event on livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.  See all the posters.

The Rift Valley fever virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen that causes explosive outbreaks of severe human and livestock disease in Africa and Arabian Peninsula. The rapid evolution of outbreaks of Rift Valley fever generates exceptional challenges in its mitigation and control.

A decision-support tool for prevention and control of Rift Valley fever in the Greater Horn of Africa identifies a series of events that indicates increasing risk of an outbreak and matches interventions to each event.

This poster, prepared for the Tropentag 2014 conference, presents information from a study that assessed the effectiveness of targeted vaccination in mitigating the impacts of outbreaks of Rift Valley fever.

.

Mitigation of the impacts of Rift Valley fever through targeted vaccination strategies

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ILRI@40 side event on livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.  See all the posters.

 

Over 60% of the newly identified infectious diseases that have affected people over the past few decades have been caused by pathogens originating from animals or animal products.

In agricultural areas that use more water, people face increased risk of infectious diseases, especially through zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible from animals to people) as well as water-borne and vector-borne diseases.

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) carries out research to maximise the nutritional and health benefits of agricultural development. The programme has four research themes: value chains, biofortification, control of agriculture-associated diseases, and integrated programs and policies.

The poster below, prepared for the Tropentag 2014 conference, presents an overview of a research carried out by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), which leads the research theme on the prevention and control of agriculture-associated diseases within A4NH.

This research theme generates evidence on the prevalence, dynamics and burdens of agriculture-associated diseases by developing and testing the tools and approaches needed to better manage such diseases.

.

Managing the health risks associated with agriculture: An overview of research by the International Livestock Research Institute

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ILRI@40 side event on livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.  See all the posters.

Pastoralism is a farming system practised in arid and semi arid lands by societies that derive most of their food and income from livestock production. About 70% of the land mass in the Horn of Africa is dry land. In Kenya 80% of the land mass is classified as arid and semi-arid while approximately half of Tanzania consists of dry land. These dry lands can only be effectively used for livestock rearing, supporting wildlife resource harvesting and tourism.

The poster below, prepared for the Tropentag 2014 conference, presents findings of a situation analysis of animal health and its implication on food safety in Kenya and Tanzania. The study reports on livestock diseases with high prevalence and their likely effects on food safety and food security in pastoral communities in the two countries. The extent of species rearing diversification, pastoralist trade orientation and practices that may expose the community and their trading partners to animal and zoonotic infections are also explained.

.

Pastoralism: Animal health and food safety situation analysis, Kenya and Tanzania

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague, Czech Republic (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ILRI@40 side event on livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.  See all the posters.

Aflatoxins are cancer-causing mycotoxins produced by the mould Aspergillus flavus. Aspergillus can grow in a wide range of foods and feed and thrives under favourable conditions of high temperature and moisture content.

Aflatoxin contamination can occur before crops are harvested when temperatures are high, during harvest if wet conditions occur and after harvest if there is insect damage to the stored crop or if moisture levels are high during storage and transportation.

Aflatoxins in contaminated animal feed not only result in reduced animal productivity, but can also end up in milk, meat and eggs, thus presenting a health risk to humans.

The poster below, prepared for the Tropentag 2014  conference, presents an overview of a research project led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) aimed at measuring and mitigating the risk of aflatoxins in the feed-dairy chain in Kenya.

.

Aflatoxins: serious threat to food safety and food security, but is it related to livestock?

This week, ILRI staff are participating in the Tropentag 2014 International Conference in Prague (17-19 September 2014). There is also a dedicated ILRI@40 side event on livestock-based options for sustainable food and nutritional security and healthy lives.  See all the posters.