Technologies at LIRI

Cattle Diseases

  • The commonest cause of mastitis in Zero grazing units was determined and control strategies comprising bio-sanitation of premises and improved milking hygiene, controlled use of antibiotics and dry cow therapy to control sub-clinical mastitis were recommended.
  • Satisfactory progress was made in respect of validation of the competition ELISA a more sensitive test for detection of CBPP cases both in the new out breaks and in the endemic areas.

    Effort is being made to locally produce diagnostic reagents

  • An ELISA technique, was developed using goat anti-bovine FgG- peroxidase (G & BIgG -PO) conjugate and Secretory/ Execretory (SE) antigen of Fasciola gigantica for the diagnosis of Fasciolosis in cattle. Quality and standardization tests will be conducted to demonstrate its sensitivity and specificity.
  • The efficacy and duration of persistence of moxidectin endectocide pour-on (Cydectin®) was assessed on cattle under traditional management system in Tororo district with a view to adapt it for farmers' use. Moxidectin pour-on was found to protect cattle for at least 8 weeks and maintained the incidence of helminthosis low up to 12 weeks. Sequential application of moxidectin pour-on at 8 weeks intervals on cattle on fenced farms and communally grazed herds led to reduction of pasture infestation. Indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) indicated that T.vivax antigen assays were more efficient than the T. congolense assays in determining the distribution of bovine trypanosomosis and targeting appropriate control measures.
  • It has been established that there is gross abuse of acaricides in the different farming systems. This is a very serious issue as it has implications for the environment and will definitely lead to tick resistance if not combated.
  • Endemic stability to ECF in the Ankole breeds of cattle maintained under pastoral production system in the Ankole Ranching Scheme has been established.
  • The current tick control practice in the ranching scheme were found to be wasteful, expensive and not economically justifiable. A strategic tick control option involving application of acaricides (properly diluted) at 3 major tick predilection sites (ear, udder/belly and peri- anal regions) at intervals of once a fortnight during rainy seasons and once a month during the dry seasons was recommended
  • Satisfactory progress is being registered towards identifying pockets of tsetse infestation, reducing indiscriminate use of trypanocides and developing appropriate tsetse and trypanosomosis control packages.

    Poultry Diseases

  • Prevalence of infectious poultry diseases, household populations of free-range birds and egg production and poultry husbandry and management practices in Lira District were determined.
  • Comparative trials on the use of amprolium compounds and the newly introduced diclazuril showed that both drugs were effective in the control of coccidiosis in broiler chickens. It also proved that diclazuril can be used in drinking water in addition to the normally recommended feed mixing. A single administration of each of the drugs was found to protect broiler birds through the rearing period. The continuous provision of such drugs normally done by farmers is therefore unnecessary and an economic waste.

Small Ruminant Diseases

The intensity of gastrointestinal nematode infections in goats across different agro-ecosystems and management systems was determined. This will be useful in designing appropriate control measures.

Management and Disease Status in Pigs

Surveys were carried out in five district namely:- Lira, Tororo, Busia, Kamuli and Mukono, in order to establish management and disease status of pigs. The most prevalent diseases were: trypanosomosis, endoparasitosis and ectoparasites. The endoparasites included: stronglylosis, ascarisis, tapeworms and cocodiosis, while ectoparasites included: lake flies, sarcoptic mites and ticks of different genera and species.

Sleeping Sickness

Because of a decline in reported hospital cases of sleeping sickness, it was necessary to determine whether the disease is still a serious endemic disease so as to forestall future epidemics. It was found that:

  • Local people often find it difficult to recognise and interpret its symptoms especially in the early stages of infection leading to utilisation of inappropriate and ineffective treatment options like consultation of traditional healers.
  • Some modes of treatment e.g., the lumbar puncture in the pre-screening stage are feared and therefore act as a barrier to diagnosis and treatment of trypanosomiasis.
  • Most cost effective surveillance system (passive type) for detecting sleeping sickness. Trypanosomiasis Agglutination Card Test (TACT) developed at LIRI is being evaluated in the laboratory and field. TACT has a potential of simplifying diagnosis of Rhodiesiense sleeping sickness cases.

Feed Resources

Studies on improving nutrition of small ruminants, through better utilisation of available local feed resources such as crop residues, agro-industrial by-products and leguminous forages, was initiated in Mbale District. Multi-purpose tree nurseries were established and planted with Calliandra calothyrsus and Leuceana diversifolia species. Evaluation studies of highland banana residues for feeding ruminant animals showed that Crude Protein (CP) was highest in leaves (15 - 15.9%). Crude Fibre (CF) was also highest in leaves (50 - 51.35%) but low in peels. Peels were however very high in dry matter (89.5 - 90%).

Genetic Improvement

  • Improving the Nganda cattle for milk and beef and provision of improved breeding stock for farmers. Findings indicate that Nganda cattle are hardy, and capable of high reproductive rates even in poor nutrition. They are capable of producing a calf per year.
  • Zebu cossed with Boran crossbreds: The Zebu x Boran crossbreds had average percentage increase in body weight of 75% compared with local Zebu of similar age. Zebu crossed with Sahiwal. The Zebu x Sahiwal crossbreds had bigger body sizes and better traction power than local Zebu.
  • Goats: Boer x Mubende, 2 F2 x Mubende, 10 F1 Boer x Teso, 4 F2 Boer x Teso, (7 Mubende Elite) crossbreds were produced. The crossbreds show better live weight gains than their respective local goats (at 6 months, the crosses have twice the weight of the local goats irrespective of the breed of the dam).
  • Chicken: Studies with crossbred chickens showed continued production of 3 - 4 times more eggs by crossbreds than the local birds per laying period and weighed twice as heavy as the local birds at the age of 18 - 22 weeks (2.5 - 30 kg). Bovans Brown x Local hen. The crossbred hens have continued to lay bigger eggs (50 gm) than those of the local hens (25 - 30 gm).

    Contact us at:
    Livestock Health Research Institute (LIRI)
    P. O BOX 96, Tororo, Uganda
    Tel: 256-45 44355/6