Ovine rinderpest

Small ruminant morbillivirus
Virus classification e
Small ruminant morbillivirus
  • Peste-des-petits-ruminants virus
  • Pest des petits ruminants virus

Ovine rinderpest, also commonly known as peste des petits ruminants (PPR), is a contagious disease primarily affecting goats and sheep; however, camels and wild small ruminants can also be affected.[2] PPR is currently present in North, Central, West and East Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.[3] It is caused by small ruminants morbillivirus in the genus Morbillivirus, and is closely related to, among others, rinderpest morbillivirus, measles morbillivirus, and canine morbillivirus (previously known as canine distemper virus). The disease is highly contagious, and can have an 80–100% mortality rate in acute cases in an epizootic setting. The virus does not infect humans.

The disease was first described in 1942 in Côte d'Ivoire, and has since been detected in more than 70 countries in the world.[4]

In 2017, the disease was reported to be affecting saiga in Mongolia, causing near-catastrophic herd depletion for the endangered species.[5]

In 2018, the disease was reported to be in Bulgaria close to the border with Turkey.[6]


PPR is also known as goat plague, kata, syndrome of stomatitis-pneumoenteritis, and ovine rinderpest.[7]

Official agencies such as the FAO and OIE use the French name "peste des petits ruminants" with several spelling variants.

Signs and symptoms

Symptoms are similar to those of rinderpest in cattle and involves oral necrosis, mucopurulent nasal and ocular discharges, cough, pneumonia, and diarrhea,[8] though they vary according to the previous immune status of the sheep, the geographic location, the time of year, or if the infection is new or chronic. They also vary according to the breed of sheep. However, fever in addition to either diarrhea or signs of oral discomfort is sufficient to suspect the diagnosis.[8] Incubation period is 3-5 days.[9]

Hyperacute cases

Hyperacute cases are found dead without previous symptoms. They die with a serous, foamy, or haemorrhagic discharge coming out of the nose.

Acute cases at onset

In acute cases, animals are recumbent, sometimes in self-auscultation position. Body temperature is high (40.5 to 41 °C) in the beginning of the onset in acute cases. The most typical signs are seen in the digestive tract. When entering an affected flock, one sees many animals with hind limbs stained by sticky faeces. Some sheep have an arched back and show pain when defecating. Tenesmus may be noticed when taking rectal temperature. Fluid faeces are olive green to brown. Examination of the mouth shows ulceration of the buccal mucosae, especially on the inner face of the lips, and neighboring gum. There can be periodontitis or serous nasal exudate and conjunctivitis.

Evolution of acute cases

Nasal discharge becomes mucopurulent and may obstruct the nose. A dry, fitful coughing develops. Death occurs from 5 to 10 days after the onset of the fever. Some animals may recover, but a dry, stertorous coughing often persists for some days.[10] Besides coughing, there is intensive labial dermatitis with scab formation, resembling orf.[11] Miscarriages may occur.[12]


Peste des petits ruminants is caused by a MorbillivirusSmall ruminant morbillivirus – which is related to but distinct from Rinderpest virus. Four genotypes (lineages) of the virus are described.[8] Their classification is based on the nucleoprotein (N) or previously the fusion (F) protein gene. Lineages I and II are found mainly in West Africa. Lineage III is generally found in East Africa. Lineage IV was long known as the Asian lineage, but has now spread to the African continent and become the most prevalent lineage of all.[13]


Origin and spread

This virus appears to have evolved at the start of the 20th century in Nigeria.[14] The extant genotypes subsequently appeared in West Africa (lineages I and II), East Africa and Arabia (lineage III), and Pakistan–India (lineage IV).[8]

The first description of the disease was published in 1942 and relates to an outbreak in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, in goats and sheep in 1940.[15][8] It spread to East Africa and Arabia at the beginning of the 1980s and to Pakistan and India in the early 1990s (Calcutta goat markets) finally reaching Tibet in 2007.[8] The first description of this virus in India was in 1987.

The outbreak in Burkina Faso in 1999 was caused by the lineage I group. Genotype III has caused outbreaks in Ethiopia (1996) and also in Arabia, southern India, and Tamil Nadu (1992). This lineage was found in Yemen in 2001. Genotype IV has been isolated in Kuwait in 1999.

Geographical repartition

As of 2017, the disease is present in West Africa, part of Central Africa (Gabon, Central African Republic), East Africa (north of the Equator), the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent including Nepal and Myanmar. The disease is endemic in the Indian subcontinent and is a major threat to fast-growing goat husbandry in India, causing an annual loss of around 1800 million Indian rupees.

In North Africa, only Egypt was once hit, but since summer 2008, Morocco is suffering a generalized outbreak with 133 known cases in 129 provinces, mostly affecting sheep.[16] The outbreak has precipitated the vaccination of a large number of the 17 million sheep and five million goats in the country.[17]


The disease is transmitted by infected aerosols in situation of close contact of animals. The long-distance spread is by sick animals.[8] As the virus soon becomes inactive outside the body, indirect contamination is generally limited.

In an affected flock, even in pest-free regions, the disease does not progress very rapidly, in spite of the close contact between animals. New clinical cases may be observed daily for a 1-month period.[18]

Post mortem lesions

The lesions are situated in the digestive tract. Quick post mortem examination will lead to the discovery of many haemorrhagic patches on the serous membranes, and intense pneumonia. A risk exists that it may conclude with enzootic pneumonia, inability to open the mouth, and problems with the oesophagus and different parts of the intestine.

Erosions and inflammation are widespread on buccal mucosa. The same lesions are also present in pharynx, oesophagus, and on mucus-producing epithelia of the gut, from abomasum to rectum. Zebra-striped lesions on coecum and colon are said to be typical in some cases. Rarely, also petechiae are on the rumen mucosa.[19]


History and clinical signs enable a presumptive diagnosis to be made in endemic regions. The virus can be detected in acute cases from various swabs and blood samples, using PCR and ELISA. Antibodies can also be detected by ELISA.[12]

Treatment and control

Antibiotics such as chloramphenicol, penicillin, and streptomycin can be used and supportive treatment may be helpful.[12] Additionally, a vaccine has been developed that may decrease death in the flock.[12] Movement restrictions and slaughter of affected flocks may be required in an attempt to eradicate the disease.[12] A global eradication programme has been developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health.[20] More information can be found on FAO's website on the implementation of this global plan.[21] It is considered feasible to eradicate ovine rinderpest in 15 years.[8]


  1. ^ "ICTV Taxonomy history: Small ruminant morbillivirus". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  2. ^ Munir, M. (2014-10-01). "Role of Wild Small Ruminants in the Epidemiology of Peste Des Petits Ruminants". Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 61 (5): 411–424. doi:10.1111/tbed.12052. ISSN 1865-1682. PMID 23305511.
  3. ^ Banyard, Ashley C.; Parida, Satya; Batten, Carrie; Oura, Chris; Kwiatek, Olivier; Libeau, Genevieve (2010). "Global distribution of peste des petits ruminants virus and prospects for improved diagnosis and control". Journal of General Virology. 91 (12): 2885–2897. doi:10.1099/vir.0.025841-0. PMID 20844089.
  4. ^ "Peste des Petits Ruminants". Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations.
  5. ^ "PESTE DES PETITS RUMINANTS – MONGOLIA (03): (HOVD) SAIGA ANTELOPE". ProMED-mail. 9 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  6. ^ "Bulgaria reports another case of ovine rinderpest". Reuters. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
  7. ^ Parida, S.; Muniraju, M.; Mahapatra, M.; Muthuchelvan, D.; Buczkowski, H.; Banyard, A.C. (2015). "Peste des petits ruminants". Veterinary Microbiology. 181 (1–2): 90–106. doi:10.1016/j.vetmic.2015.08.009. PMC 4655833. PMID 26443889.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Taylor, William (2015). "The global eradication of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) within 15 years—is this a pipe dream?". Trop Anim Health Prod. 48 (3): 559–667. doi:10.1007/s11250-016-0993-x. PMID 26851956.
  9. ^ "Rinderpest | animal disease". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-12-07.
  10. ^ J. Berrada, Observations des premiers cas confirmés de peste des petits ruminants au Maroc, oral presentation, El Jadida, 31-07-2008.
  11. ^ Handbook of Animal Diseases in the Tropics, op cit.
  12. ^ a b c d e Peste des Petits Ruminants Archived 2013-02-22 at archive.today reviewed and published by WikiVet, accessed 10 October 2011.
  13. ^ Kwiatek, Olivier; Ali, Yahia Hassan; Saeed, Intisar Kamil; Khalafalla, Abdelmelik Ibrahim; Mohamed, Osama Ishag; Abu Obeida, Ali; Abdelrahman, Magdi Badawi; Osman, Halima Mohamed; Taha, Khalid Mohamed (2011). "Asian Lineage of Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus, Africa". Emerging Infectious Diseases. 17 (7): 1223–1231. doi:10.3201/eid1707.101216. ISSN 1080-6040. PMC 3381390. PMID 21762576.
  14. ^ Muniraju, M; Munir, M; Parthiban, AR; Banyard, AC; Bao, J; Wang, Z; Ayebazibwe, C; Ayelet, G; El Harrak, M; Mahapatra, M; Libeau, G; Batten, C; Parida, S (2014). "Molecular evolution of peste des petits ruminants virus". Emerg Infect Dis. 20 (12): 2023–2033. doi:10.3201/eid2012.140684. PMC 4257836. PMID 25418782.
  15. ^ Dhar P, Sreenivasa BP, Barrett T, Corteyn M, Singh RP, Bandyopadhyay SK (2002) Recent epidemiology of peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). Vet Microbiol 88(2):153–159
  16. ^ "Outbreak of 'peste des petits ruminants' in Morocco". FAO Newsroom. FAO. September 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  17. ^ "Morocco to vaccinate all livestock after virus outbreak". AFP. September 9, 2008. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  18. ^ L. Mahin (2008) Observations sur un foyer de Peste des petits ruminants, unpublished data.
  19. ^ Tligui, Observations nécropsiques sur les premiers cas confirmés de peste des petits ruminants au Maroc, oral presentation, El Jadida, 31-07-2008.
  20. ^ FAO and WHO. 2016. Peste des petits ruminants GLOBAL ERADICATION PROGRAM. Rome.
  21. ^ FAO. Peste des Petits Ruminants. http://www.fao.org/ppr/en/ accessed Nov. 2016

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Media files used on this page

Author/Creator: User:FoeNyx © 2004 (artistic illustration), Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
VIH - HIV / SIDA - AIDS viruses.
Dracunculiasis and Poliomyelitis cases per year.png
Author/Creator: Anxietycello, Licence: CC BY-SA 4.0
Dracunculiasis and Poliomyelitis cases per year. Data from WHO.
Pesse bedots souwêye nåze.jpg
Author/Creator: L. Mahin, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ovine rinderpest : mucopurulent nasal discharge
Oviete pesse otoschoûtaedje.jpg
Author/Creator: L. Mahin, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ovine rinderpest : self-auscultation
Pesse bedots mannixhaedje dirî.jpg
Author/Creator: L. Mahin, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ovine rinderpest : hindlegs stained with sticky diarrhoea
Oviete pesse efouwaedje divins lepes.jpg
Author/Creator: L. Mahin, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ovine rinderpest : inflammation and erosion of the inner part of the lips
Pesse bedots tchamlou dos1.jpg
Author/Creator: L. Mahin, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ovine rinderpest : arched back and up-held tail (pain to defecate)
Pesse bedots riwerixhaedje crapes.jpg
Author/Creator: L. Mahin, Licence: CC-BY-SA-3.0
Ovine rinderpest : orf-like scabs on the angle of the lips and on the , Day 8 of a rcovering case.