Bid to end PPR
Researchers have found that repeated vaccination campaigns targeting viral reservoirs may be the most effective way of eradicating Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), an animal disease targeted for global eradication.
The breakthrough comes as thousands of sheep and goat are euthanised in eastern Bulgaria as part of an eradication strategy.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and the World Organisation for Animal Health have launched global efforts to eradicate PPR, also known as ovine rinderpest. So far, only two infectious diseases have ever been eradicated, smallpox in humans and rinderpest in cattle. The FAO and WOAH’s mass vaccination strategy is costly and logistically challenging, due in particular to the mobility and the lack of accessibility of small ruminant flocks, and the lack of accurate herd data. That’s why “Identifying highrisk populations and tailoring vaccination strategies to local epidemiological contexts is essential,” said Dr Guillaume Fournié, Senior Research Fellow at the Royal Veterinary College.