Elifuraha studies the effects of heat and nutritional stress on Newcastle Disease in local Tanzanian chickens
Elifuraha is veterinarian working as lecturer of Veterinary Pathology at the College of Veterinary and Medical Sciences at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA), Tanzania. He started teaching career in 2007 where he was first employed as a Tutorial assistant of Pathology at Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS) in Mwanza Tanzania. Elifuraha admit that working both in Medical and Veterinary schools contributed much to his interests on one health related issues affecting livestock farmers. With the same motive of One Health interests, Elifuraha developed a competitive research project, funded by CUHAS, to investigate Brucellosis in livestock farming communities in Sengerema District, Mwanza Tanzania. This was the first research project for Elifuraha to win, and which he considered a stimulus for writing more projects. Since then, Elifuraha is connected to researchers at CUHAS, and has been able to publish papers on Brucellosis and toxoplasmosis in human beings. Interests on Poultry started when Elifuraha Shifted to SUA. The MSc research was on investigating the relationship between vitamin A, hematological parameters and Worm infestation in chickens. Further, he has been able to collaborate in various poultry research projects, the latest being “Validation of locally developed Newcastle disease vaccine and model house for local chickens in Tanzania (2014-2015). Supported by Tanzania Government through Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)”.
Effect of heat and nutritional stress on Newcastle disease infection in Local chickens in Tanzania
Thesis Research Project
Newcastle disease (ND) is a major health challenge in indigenous poultry farmers. It contributed to chicken mortality and monetary loss through control costs. Although vaccine is available, other driving factors for ND infection in resource poor farmers have not well investigated. For example the contribution of stress (heat and nutritional deficiencies) on ND infection dynamics has not been investigated for local chickens in Tanzania. Therefore the first part of the study will focus on seasonal dynamics of ND as well as trying to find the relationships existing between ND, stress hormones and feed nutrients in field chickens. On the other hand the second part of the study will investigate (under experimental conditions) susceptibility of selected local chickens ecotypes to ND infection in the context of stress. This study therefore tries to answers the following research questions
Is there a correlation between seasonal stress and ND disease in local chickens?
Is there genetic variability on stress tolerance among local chickens? If yes, what is the role of this variability on susceptibility to Newcastle disease infection?
Study intends to provide information on how stress influences Newcastle disease dynamics in smallholder poultry production systems. It therefore open door for strategizing ND control package (i.e knowing the time to vaccinate when birds are more susceptible) and developing selective breeding programme by using heat tolerant profiles to select Newcastle disease resistant chickens.