Exposure of vaccinated and naive cattle to natural challenge from buffalo-derived Theileria parva

Tatjana Sitt, E. Jane Poole, Gideon Ndambuki, Stephen Mwaura, Thomas Njoroge, George P. Omondi, Matthew Mutinda, Joseph Mathenge, Giles Prettejohn, W. Ivan Morrison, Philip Toye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Integrative management of wildlife and livestock requires a clear understanding of the diseases transmitted between the two populations. The tick-borne protozoan parasite Theileria parva causes two distinct diseases in cattle, East Coast fever and Corridor disease, following infection with parasites derived from cattle or buffalo, respectively. In this study, cattle were immunized with a live sporozoite vaccine containing three T. parva isolates (the Muguga cocktail), which has been used extensively and successfully in the field to protect against cattle-derived T. parva infection. The cattle were exposed in a natural field challenge site containing buffalo but no other cattle. The vaccine had no effect on the survival outcome in vaccinated animals compared to unvaccinated controls: nine out of the 12 cattle in each group succumbed to T. parva infection. The vaccine also had no effect on the clinical course of the disease. A combination of clinical and post mortem observations and laboratory analyses confirmed that the animals died of Corridor disease. The results clearly indicate that the Muguga cocktail vaccine does not provide protection against buffalo-derived T. parva at this site and highlight the need to evaluate the impact of the composition of challenge T. parva populations on vaccine success in areas where buffalo and cattle are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-251
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Segolip, the sequencing facility at the BECA-ILRI Hub, in particular Ben Kiawa for his help in sequencing. We wish to thank Ol Pejeta Conservancy for approval and support for conducting our field studies on site. The authors would like to thank Anna Lacasta for use of her DH5α competent cells and Roger Pelle for his direction with regard to cloning. Some of the work described in this paper was supported by a grant awarded jointly by the Department for International Development (UK Government) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) UK [grant number BB/H009515/1 ] of the Combating Infectious Diseases of Livestock for International Development (CIDLID) program.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Authors.


  • Buffalo
  • Cattle
  • Muguga cocktail
  • Sporozoite
  • Theileria parva
  • Vaccine


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