Tick-borne diseases occurring in Zambia are assuming more importance as they continue to be a major economic problem not only in Zambia, but in many parts of Eastern, Southern and Central Africa. The current control methods, which include the use of toxic acaricides to kill ticks, and the virulent sporozoite infection and treatment method have limitations. Recombinant vaccines, currently in their experimental stages, offer hope for the future. The use of acaricides is hampered by the development of acaricide resistance and live vaccines are dependent on cold chain facilities, which are a formidable obstacle in the poorly developed infrastructure in parts of Zambia where the vaccine is most needed. Amidst these drawbacks are the results of the recent research on parasites and vector recombinant vaccines which promise to circumvent these problems. The history, current status and attitudes regarding the control of these diseases, taking into account their complexity, are reviewed. The establishment of the well-designed Central Veterinary Research Institute (CVRI) and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) sponsored veterinary school, both have a potential for high quality research, with access to a wealth of specimens a veritable goldmine of research material. It is thus hoped that this review will stimulate the desire to maximize the value of the tick and tick-borne disease research in both Zambia and the international research community.
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