Peste des petit ruminants (PPR) is a contagious viral disease. Small ruminants (goats, sheep) are animals that primarily pay a heavy price to the disease but wildlife species such as gazelle are also highly susceptible. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research conducts research on this disease.
Transmission of PPR
Morbidity and mortality rates vary in these susceptible animals according to race and virulence of the virus. It is transmitted through close contact between animals. In acute PPR, pyrexia, oral erosions, discharges from the eyes and nose, pneumonia and diarrhoea are the main symptoms of disease.
Mortality rates can reach 80 percent in acute cases. In super acute cases the mortality rate is 100 percent, with affected animals dying in the first week. Peste des petit ruminants inflicts high losses of livestock as yearly reported by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE). PPR is considered as a disease of major economic impact particularly in the inter-tropical regions of Africa, in the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and Asia.
The virus belongs to the genus Morbillivirus, in the family Paramyxoviridae.
Genotypic classification of PPRV that shows four geographically separated lineages appears to be an efficient tool to follow the worldwide progress of the virus. Viruses of lineage 1 and 2 are shown to be restricted to the west and central part of Africa, while lineage 3 is common to the eastern part of Africa and the southern part of the Middle. In Asia, lineage 4 seems to predominate.