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Published 2017-03-08

PPR is an economically important disease, especially affecting the
household economy of the poorest people, affecting mainly domestic
sheep and goats in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Its causative agent is
a Morbillivirus closely related to rinderpest virus (RPV) which has just
been eradicated, the first-ever animal virus eradicated And the second
after smallpox virus. PPR virus (PPRV) infects a wide host range of cloven
hoofed animals of the families Bovidae, Cervidae and Suidae, e.g. African
buffalo Syncerus caffer, antelopes, deer, wild goat, sheep deer and pigs
(Kock et al., 2006, 2008; Furley 1987; Abubakar et al., 2011). Many of
these species are highly endangered (IUCN Red List 2012), especially
those from mountainous and arid regions, where small livestock
predominate. It is spreading rapidly despite availability of effective
vaccines and diagnostic tests for PPR control. It is now in Turkey at the
gateway to the European Union and threatening southern Africa (Figure 1
and 2). The failure to manage PPR is perhaps, linked to both cessation of
RPV vaccination which was cross protective and widely used in domestic
sheep and goats and inattention to the small livestock sector. Historically,
PPR spill-over from infected domestic sheep and goats was observed in
wild artiodactyls kept in fenced enclosures in the Middle East. More
recently, natural infection was reported in free-ranging wildlife, notably in
bharal in Tibet (Bao et al., 2011 & 2012), ibex in Pakistan (Abubakar et al.,
2011& 2012), and wild goats in Kurdistan (Hoffmann et al., 2012). All
these wildlife outbreaks were associated with PPR-infected livestock.