First report and characterization of peste des petits ruminants virus in Liberia

Tropical Animal Health and Production

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), is a contagious and often fatal disease affecting sheep and goats that is currently endemic in Africa, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and China. Understanding the molecular epidemiology and evolution of PPR virus (PPRV) can assist in the control of the transboundary spread of this economically important disease. Here we report the isolation of a PPRV from pathological and swab samples collected from goats in Liberia, West Africa in July 2015.

About the Book

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious infectious viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants. The control of PPR is considered an important element in the fight for global food security and poverty alleviation and it is for this reason that the disease has been chosen as the next animal disease for global eradication. In April 2015, in Abidjan, Côte dIvoire, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) met with high-level authorities from affected countries to agree on a global plan to eradicate PPR by 2030 (FAO 2015). The causative agent, the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), is a member of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus that includes rinderpest virus (RPV), measles virus (MV), canine distemper virus (CDV), phocine distemper virus (PDV), dolphin morbillivirus (DMV) and feline morbillivirus (Woo et al. 2012; Baron et al. 2016). The nonsegmented single-stranded, negative-sense RNA genome of PPRV is 15,948 nucleotides in size and encodes two nonstructural proteins C and V, and six structural proteins arranged in the order: nucleoprotein (N), phosphoprotein (P), matrix protein (M), fusion protein (F), hemagglutinin protein (H) and viral RNA-dependent polymerase (L) (Baron et al. 2016). Based on partial sequences of the N and F genes, PPRV strains have been classified into four genetically distinct lineages (I, II, III and IV) even though the virus is serologically monotypic (Libeau et al. 2014; Parida et al. 2015). PPRV strains that were first  identified in Africa belong to lineages I, II and III while viruses belonging to lineage IV have been found in Asia including the Middle East (Libeau et al. 2014; Parida et al. 2015).

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