In the last eight years the Cuban vaccine against cattle tick developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) has produced incomes for more than 20 million dollars to the country, according to director of CIGB, Dr. Mario Pablo Estrada.
The cattle tick is an economically serious external parasite affecting, primarily, cattle. The cattle tick, Rhipicephalus microplus, formerly known as Boophilus microplus, affects primarily cattle but can also infest other species such as sheep, horses, goats, buffaloes, camels, alpacas, llamas and deer.
Estrada, director of the CIGB agricultural research project, belonging to BioCubaFarma business group, told ACN that GAVAC is the only commercial vaccine that exists in the world against this type of parasite. In addition to marketing it in Cuba, it is currently exported to Nicaragua, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil, and there is interest in several countries in Africa.
The work is being done to extend it to Costa Rica and a clinical trial is undergoing in Australia, and another one in Morocco to apply it in Africa. American universities are also interested in working in the United States with the Cuban product, which enjoys great prestige worldwide. Currently, 99 percent of sanitary control in the world is done using chemicals that contaminate milk, meat, water and grass, and ticks become resistant to them quickly.
Meanwhile, the Cuban vaccine produces antibodies in livestock, the repellent is inside the animal and thus significantly reduces the use of chemicals, and is much more effective, the CIGB expert stated.
Attacking ticks through a biological method such as GAVAC vaccine is much more helpful to the environment, more effective in the long term, is the alternative that science and technology have today to counteract the use of indiscriminate chemicals.