Virus infections in small ruminants

Last changed: 27 February 2014

Factors determining susceptibility of peste des petits ruminants virus infections in domestic and wild small ruminants

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an economically important disease, especially affecting the household economy of the poorest people, since the main hosts are domestic sheep and goats in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, species important for the daily survival. Smallholders keeping small ruminants, mostly women, are one key driver in poverty alleviation in many regions of the world, but infectious diseases, such as PPR, represent serious threats to further development of the smallholder production. PPR is spreading rapidly despite availability of vaccines and diagnostic tests. The role of wildlife in PPR epidemiology is still uncertain.

The overall purpose of the proposed project is to ascertain the current situation of PPR virus (PPRV) in both domestic and wild small ruminants in Tanzania and Pakistan by bringing a multidisciplinary and multinational team of scientists together.

Through this project, data will be collected on the epidemiology and risk factors related to PPRV infected livestock and wildlife from study locations and experimental infections. Genetic factors of PPRV and its hosts associated with disease susceptibility will be monitored by molecular epidemiology based on full genome sequencing, transcriptomic analysis of global host response, and functional studies to understand molecular mechanisms of pathogenesis in a host and species dependent manner.

Such knowledge is fundamental to devise better vaccines and to facilitate control strategies against PPRV.

Financier: Vetenskapsrådet - U-forsk
Mikael Berg (SLU, Dr. Muhammad Munir, Pirbright Institute, UK Prof. Elizabeth Glass, Roslin Institute, UK Dr. Gerald Misinzo, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania Dr. Muhammad Abubakar, National Veterinary Laboratories, Pakistan Dr. Karl Ståhl, Statens veterinärmedicinska anstalt