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healthier livestock…better livelihoods

Introducing the ....

Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines

galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines


galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

More than 600 million of the world’s poorest people rely largely or wholly on livestock for their livelihoods As well as providing high-quality food and valuable products for sale, livestock can support sustainable crop production through the provision of manure and draught power. They also fulfil important social and cultural functions and are a vital component of many poor households’ coping strategies.

Livestock disease is a huge problem, with the burden especially severe in tropical developing countries Chronic diseases severely depress the productive potential of animals, contributing to the perpetuation of grinding poverty. Periodic disease outbreaks can wipe out entire herds and flocks, driving families to destitution. And some diseases can pass from livestock to people, causing sickness and even death.

Demand for livestock products is rapidly growing in the developing world, creating attractive ­opportunities for livestock producers Even so, the ability of the poor to exploit these opportunities is hindered by many factors, including difficulties in complying with increasingly demanding disease control measures and public health and food safety standards.

Animal health products that control the diseases that affect the poor would significantly improve their lives and livelihoods But currently there are insufficient incentives to develop and distribute these products, especially ­vaccines.

The purpose of galv is to foster public–private partnerships that will make vaccines available to poor livestock keepers. The result will be healthier livestock and hence better lives and livelihoods.


galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

What is galv? The Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines (galv) is a new initiative that will facilitate the development, delivery and use of ‘new-generation’ animal health products targeted at currently unmet needs of poor livestock keepers in developing countries. It will achieve these aims by fostering, managing and funding innovative public–private partnerships to channel the enormous potential of recent advances in the biosciences into the development of effective, safe, cheap, and convenient vaccines and diagnostics. galv will also foster new institutional and fiscal arrangements that will ensure the products developed under its aegis are affordable, available and can be correctly used, so that their full potential can be realised. Developing new animal health products from scratch is a risky, lengthy and expensive undertaking. galv will reduce the risks, time-scales and costs by capitalising on promising leads already identified by public and private research organizations. Having identified the barriers preventing effective exploitation of these leads, galv will then work to develop the necessary partnerships and financial and institutional arrangements to enable promising discoveries to be converted into effective products. The overall objective of galv, which will drive its selection of projects, is to improve the food security, health and incomes of poor livestock keepers and the wider communities in which they live. galv will be structured as a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in the UK.

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healthier livestock...better livelihoods

Livestock and poverty reduction Some 70% of the world’s poorest people depend, at least in part, on livestock. Livestock can: • Provide nutritious foods and other products, such as hides and skins, for household consumption and sale • Supply manure and traction to support crop production • Create employment and business opportunities • Raise cash through sales, to pay for for education and healthcare • Serve important social and cultural roles, offering pathways out of poverty. Milk, meat and eggs are especially important in the diets of children, providing readily digestible sources of high-quality protein and energy as well as essential micronutrients such as vitamin B12, that cereal- and vegetable-based diets often lack. Failure to provide these key nutrients limits both the physical and cognitive development of children. It prevents them from achieving their full potential in later life, thus contributing to the vicious circle of poverty. On the other hand, the intense animal disease burden in tropical regions is a constant threat to the survival and productivity of livestock and to human health by way of zoonoses – diseases that can be transmitted from animals to people. Such diseases mainly afflict the poorest households that also have least access to healthcare. Simply ensuring that the livestock of the poor survive and pose no risk to public health would provide an important buffer, preventing decline into even greater poverty and destitution and fending off sickness or even death. Measures enabling poor smallholders to intensify production systems in a sustainable way would allow them to compete more effectively with large-scale

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galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

producers and generate surpluses for sale. And securing better market access for the livestock and livestock products of poor livestock keepers represents a major opportunity for poverty reduction. The livestock sector in the developing world is growing fast, at a rate of up to 7% per annum, much more rapidly than the agricultural sector as a whole. Soaring demand for livestock products in developing countries, driven by growing populations, increasing urbanisation and higher incomes, offers real opportunities for all live-stock producers. But there is a danger that the poor will struggle to exploit the potential benefits of this growing market. There are many barriers – policy, institutional and economic – which limit access by the poor to market for livestock products. Conspicuous among them is compliance with health requirements. Better access to effective animal health products, including vaccines and diagnostics, would help to unlock the latent poverty-reduction potential of livestock.

The power of vaccines Vaccines are among the most powerful weapons in the medical armoury. Effective vaccines, properly used, have massively reduced the threat of many diseases; three-quarters of the world’s children are now vaccinated against six serious childhood diseases, thereby saving around 3 million lives a year and freeing millions more from the threat of long-term illness and disability. Thanks to a particularly effective vaccine and a successful global vaccination

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healthier livestock...better livelihoods

campaign, no cases of smallpox have occurred for more than a quarter of a century, whereas formerly the disease accounted for 5 million deaths per annum. At present, vaccines play an important role in controlling animal diseases, especially in the intensive commercial and companion animal sectors. But poor livestock keepers in developing countries are largely denied the enormous benefits that vaccines can bring.

Why don’t the poor use livestock vaccines? There are several reasons why poor livestock keepers make such limited use of vaccines. For many of the diseases that most affect their livestock, especially the tropical parasitic diseases, there simply are no vaccines. Pharmaceutical companies have few incentives to invest in vaccine development for diseases that affect only or mainly the poor, who are unlikely to be able to afford the resulting product. These markets are simply too small and unreliable to justify the investment for profit-driven commercial companies answerable to shareholders. For other diseases, the available vaccines are often far from ideal. Traditional vaccines, many of them developed several decades ago, are usually either crude extracts of disease-causing organisms, or live vaccines that utilise strains selected for their relatively low levels of virulence. Such vaccines can have serious side-effects, are prone to contamination with other potentially damaging

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galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

organisms, can vary significantly between batches, and need to be maintained at low temperatures to ensure they remain effective. All these factors make them difficult, even potentially dangerous, to use, especially in remote areas beyond the reach of fully qualified veterinarians, reliable distribution networks and dependable power supplies. The poor therefore tend to rely on the treatment of suspected cases with drugs rather than on prevention through vaccination. The result is that the livestock of the poor are often unproductive, have high mortality rates and can constitute a risk to human health. Thermostable vaccines –

eliminating the cold chain

The promise of the biosciences Recent advances in the biosciences, especially in elucidating and manipulating the genetic composition of organisms, have combined with improved understanding of immunological processes to facilitate the development of a new generation of vaccines that offer great advantages over their predecessors. The new vaccines are less prone to contamination, do not vary among batches, are cheaper to produce, invoke strong and highly specific immune responses and can provide long-lasting protection. They can also be produced in heat-stable forms that remain active for prolonged periods without costly refrigeration. All this makes these products more suitable for use by relatively unskilled personnel in remote and marginalised areas, and hence more likely to benefit poor livestock keepers.

Many vaccines effectively protect livestock against various infectious agents, but use of vaccines by livestock keepers in remote tropical areas is often ruled out because refrigerated storage and transport – the so-called ‘cold-chain’ – is unavailable. Recently there have been significant technical advances in improving the thermostability of human vaccines. The prospect exists for developing a range of livestock vaccines that can be kept for prolonged periods at room temperature. Major veterinary vaccine manufacturers are unlikely to pursue this lead because heat-stable vaccines are not needed in the more-developed markets. galv could play a valuable role in facilitating the development of a range of vaccines that can be kept at room temperature, eliminating the difficulties and cost of maintaining the cold chain and extending vaccine availability in remote areas of developing countries.

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healthier livestock...better livelihoods

Rinderpest: a livestock vaccination success story Rinderpest, also known as cattle plague, is a highly contagious viral disease of ruminants and pigs. In the past rinderpest pandemics have caused enormous losses of wild and domestic animals. In Africa, in the late 19th century, the disease wiped out 90% of the cattle south of the Sahara. An outbreak in the early 1980s caused economic losses estimated at around US$2 billion in Nigeria alone. Two developments, one technological and the other institutional, have speeded progress towards the eradication of rinderpest. In the 1990s the disease remained endemic in several remote and inaccessible parts of the Greater Horn of Africa, including southern Sudan, the Afar region of Ethiopia and the Karamoja district of Uganda – all prime pastoralist cattle-rearing areas. These areas shared similar characteristics: they had weak infrastructure, were poorly served by formal veterinary services and were

plagued by civil war or other forms of insecurity, all of which made it difficult to use live vaccines delivered through conventional state-run vaccination campaigns. As a result these areas had been left out of previous campaigns, threatening to negate the good results achieved elsewhere on the continent. In 1991 a heat-stable rinderpest vaccine was introduced, paving the way for a renewed campaign. At the same time community-based animal health programmes were established. In these programmes, training in the treatment and prevention of locally important diseases, including rinderpest, is provided to local livestock keepers, who then provide a basic animal health service to their communities. The development of an improved vaccine and the establishment of an effective delivery system proved to be a winning combination and the Global Rinderpest Eradication Programme looks forward to worldwide eradication by the year 2010.

The challenge The challenge now is twofold: to find ways of harnessing advances in the biosciences to the production of vaccines and diagnostics that address the priority problems of poor livestock keepers, and to put in place a system that ensures that effective products are manufactured and distributed. This is the challenge that galv has been established to meet.

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galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

galv’s mission and objectives galv’s mission is to improve the food security, health and incomes of poor livestock keepers in low-income countries by managing and funding research, development and delivery partnerships for new animal health products, in particular vaccines and diagnostics. In pursuit of this mission, galv’s objectives are to: • Coordinate and manage donor funding of public-sector research and development designed to improve the effectiveness and impact of vaccines and diagnostics • Develop a portfolio of research and development projects that combine public- and private-sector expertise and funding to build on existing leads • Bring to market animal health products that will benefit poor livestock keepers.

Building on existing leads To reduce the time, costs and risks associated with developing new animal health products from first principles, galv will capitalise on research, already undertaken in either the public or private sectors, that has identified promising leads. In most cases these leads will consist of candidate vaccines that have not yet been turned into a final product, either because of a lack of funding or of suitable commercial partners, in the case of the public sector, or because of the perceived absence of a profitable and predictable market, in the case of the private sector. Building on these leads, galv will manage and, where necessary,

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healthier livestock...better livelihoods

fund subsequent stages of product development to enable the successful introduction and use of new products. galv will not itself carry out research and development but will rather enter into contracts with the public- and private-sector partners best equipped to do so. As the experience with rinderpest demonstrates, technology development alone cannot solve the problems of poor livestock keepers. So, where necessary, galv will also support the manufacture, marketing, quality control, delivery and correct use of the products that it generates. This might be done by brokering advance purchase agreements, by sharing the costs of market development and marketing, or through institutional support and capacity building among delivery partners, in either the public, private, or voluntary sectors. The identification of viable production, distribution and delivery systems will be an essential criterion governing galv’s selection of projects.

Intellectual property rights and the public good There will be no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model for how galv will interact with its public- and private-sector partners. An important principle, however, is that galv will respect the intellectual property rights of its partners. And galv’s governance and operating arrangements will reflect best practice for charitable companies.

galv will use a variety of institutional mechanisms and approaches for converting promising leads into animal health products that meet the needs of the poor. These might include negotiating licences for key technologies and intellectual property on behalf of its partners, as well as more innovative legal and financial instruments. It is also expected that intellectual property, proprietary

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galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

Porcine cysticercosis — harming human health The tapeworm Taenia solium is a cause of serious disease affecting people in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Latin America; regions where free-ranging pigs and poor sanitation are common. In humans the disease results both from the effects of the intestinal worm and also from cysts – the larval stage of the parasite – that develop in various parts of the body (cysticercosis), including the brain, where it can cause epileptic seizures and lead to death. Pigs with cysts are difficult to sell and their meat is unsafe to eat. Researchers have recently shown that effective vaccines can be produced against these tapeworms, meaning that vaccination of pigs could in the future contribute significantly to the control of this disease in humans. Bringing such vaccines to the market in an affordable and usable form is likely to be problematic because vaccination of pigs by their owners will probably be seen as a ‘public good’, considering that the pigs themselves are largely unaffected by the parasite. galv might assist not only in supporting development of the vaccine but also in pioneering

institutional arrangements that will facilitate its effective use in regions of the developing world where the disease presents a particular threat to public health. galv could also support development of pen-side

tests to identify infected pigs. Such tests could be used in conjunction with vaccines in surveillance and control programmes, with the aim of eliminating the disease from these regions.

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healthier livestock...better livelihoods

African swine fever — a threat to food security Although pork production in Africa forms less than 1% of the world supply, it is of great importance at village level, especially in forested regions of West Africa where cattle production is not an option. Here pigs are a major source of animal protein. They also play important roles in religious and cultural practices and serve as a mobile banks, providing funds for school fees, medical expenses and extras such as new clothing for special occasions. In many of these countries pork is the cheapest meat because pigs are unequalled in their ability to scavenge and produce high-quality protein from low-grade food.

didate vaccine strains that protect against virulent ASF viruses, without themselves causing disease. An option that galv will therefore consider is to support work to speed up the development of a vaccine. There is good reason to believe that such a vaccine

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious and lethal viral disease of pigs, the most important constraint on pork production in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet all conventional approaches to developing a vaccine over many years have failed. Without a vaccine it is impossible to control ASF effectively among free-ranging pigs. But keeping pigs confined is not an option for the poor, as feed is neither available nor affordable. Exploiting recent advances in the biosciences, researchers in the USA and Europe have identified viral genes that could be modified to generate can-

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– with a potential uptake exceeding 6 million doses a year – would materially benefit millions of poor livestock keepers on the African continent, many of whom are women.


galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

technology, know-how and other inputs will, on occasion, be provided by private-sector partners on a humanitarian rather than a profit-motivated basis.

galv’s funding Because galv’s output will principally qualify as a public good – vaccines and diagnostics to benefit poor livestock keepers – it is expected that most of the funding for its activities will come from donor agencies, in addition to in-kind support provided by the private and public sectors. The total funding base for galv is expected to be US$110 million over its planned 10-year lifespan.

galv’s impact In achieving its mission, galv will make a significant contribution to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted by world leaders at the Millennium Summit in 2000. The two MDG targets most relevant to galv’s work are to: • Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than US$1 a day • Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger.

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healthier livestock...better livelihoods

Rift Valley fever — impeding livestock trade Rift Valley fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne viral disease that affects both people and livestock throughout sub-Saharan Africa. In people the disease mostly causes a mild illness but in some cases can be fatal. In livestock it causes abortion and death of calves, lambs and kids. In the year 2000 RVF resulted in the deaths of up to 200 people in the Arabian Peninsula, precipitating bans on importing of African livestock. This historic trade is vital to the well-being of pastoralists over a wide area of the Horn of Africa who possess no other tradable commodities. Promising solutions include ensuring infected livestock are excluded from the Peninsula by vaccinating all export livestock three weeks before they are due to reach ports of entry. There is an RVF vaccine for livestock (though not for people), but it causes abortion and foetal abnormalities when inoculated into pregnant animals and is not effective in cattle. This vaccine can complicate

surveillance programes because it triggers antibody responses indentical to those arising from natural infection. The search is now on for a safer vaccine and a diagnostic test that can be combined with vaccination to distinguish between vaccinated and naturally infected animals. Recent research has revealed the exciting possibility of producing a cheap and effective ‘new generation’ recombinant vaccine against RVF that also protects against lumpy skin disease in cattle and sheep and goat pox; diseases that have high impact on livestock producers in Africa, the Middle East and West Asia. galv could help by facilitating co-operation between research groups. By brokering partnerships with commercial vaccine and diagnostic manufacturers, galv could also help them to capitalise on promising research results achieved so far, to enable a vaccine and diagnostic test to be developed and marketed with minimal delay.

The work of galv will have an impact on up to 600 million poor people for whom livestock form a vital component of their livelihoods. New and improved animal health technologies made accessible and available through effective delivery systems will reduce the loss of livestock to disease, lower the human health risks associated with livestock for both producers and consumers, and increase the incomes of poor people.

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Photo credits: Piers Benatar/Panos Pictures: p. 9; Mark Henley/Panos Pictures: front cover bottom left; Steffen Honzera/Still Pictures: p. 3; Jeremy Horner/Panos Pictures: p. 1 and p. 7; Crispin Hughes/Panos Pictures: p. 2 and p. 4; Rob Huibers/Panos pictures: p. 10; Rhodri Jones/ Panos Pictures: front cover bottom right; Alvaro Leiva/Panos Pictures: front cover top left; Heldur Netocny/Panos Pictures: p. 11 and back cover; Giacomo Pirozzi/Panos Pictures: front cover top right; Ernst Tobisch/Still Pictures: p. 8 Writing: Keith Sones Editing, design and layout: Green Ink Ltd, UK (www.greenink.co.uk) Printing: Pragati Offset Pvt. Ltd, India

galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines


healthier livestock…better livelihoods For more information contact: Global Alliance for Livestock Vaccines Doherty Building, Pentlands Science Park Bush Loan, Edinburgh EH26 0PZ, UK Tel: +44 (0)131 445 6264 Fax: +44 (0)131 445 6222 E-mail: info@galv.org www.galv.org

galv

global alliance for livestock vaccines

January 2006


GALV brochure