Rinderpest Vaccination and the Incidence and Development of Trypanosomosis in Cattle

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An investigation was made into whether recent vaccination of cattle with tissue culture rinderpest virus would cause immunosuppression and lead to more frequent or more severe infection with trypanosomes in animals grazing in tsetse-infested areas. Herds of cattle on Galana Ranch in Kenya were divided, with approximately half of each herd being vaccinated with tissue culture rinderpest virus strain Kabete ‘O’, while the rest remained unvaccinated. The herds were then exposed to the risk of natural infection with trypanosomes on the ranch. Three experiments were performed during different seasons. Infections with Trypanosoma congolense and Trypanosoma vivax were frequently detected but there was no evidence that vaccinated animals were more likely to acquire trypanosome infections or to show a more severe disease than unvaccinated cattle. It is concluded that tissue culture rinderpest vaccine does not cause immunosuppression and can safely be used in cattle likely to be exposed to tsetse flies and trypanosomosis.

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