Scientific Opinion on peste des petits ruminants


Panel on Animal Health and Welfare
EFSA Journal
EFSA Journal 2015;13(1):3985 [94 pp.].
Panel members at the time of adoption
Charlotte Berg, Anette Bøtner, Howard Browman, Aline De Koeijer, Klaus Depner, Mariano Domingo, Christian Ducrot, Sandra Edwards, Christine Fourichon, Frank Koenen, Simon More, Mohan Raj, Liisa Sihvonen, Hans Spoolder, Jan Arend Stegeman, Hans-Hermann Thulke, Ivar Vågsholm, Antonio Velarde, Preben Willeberg and Stéphan Zientara.

The Panel wishes to thank the members of the Working Group on peste des petits ruminants: Michael Baron Aline De Koeijer, Mariano Domingo, Arife Ertürk, Simon Gubbins, Renaud Lancelot, Arjan Stegeman and Hans-Hermann Thulke, for the preparatory work on this scientific opinion, and EFSA staff: Alessandro Broglia, José Cortiñas, Andrey Gogin and Anna Zuliani, for the support provided to this scientific opinion.

Opinion of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel
On request from
European Commission
Question Number
3 décembre 2014
Published in the EFSA Journal
13 janvier 2015
European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Parma, Italy

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a severe viral disease of small ruminants caused by a Morbillivirus closely related to rinderpest virus. It is widespread in Africa and Asia and is currently also found in Turkey and Northern Africa. PPR is transmitted via direct contact, and the disease would mainly be transferred to infection-free areas by transport of infected animals. In the EU, it could only happen through illegal transport of animals. The risk of that depends on the prevalence in the country of origin and the number of animals illegally moved. The extent of the spread would depend mainly on the time during which it is undetected, the farm density, the frequency and distance of travel of animals. PPR has a high within-herd transmission rate, therefore contacts between flocks, e.g. through common grazing areas, should be avoided when PPR is present. If PPR enters EU areas with dense sheep population but low goat density, it may spread rapidly undetected, since goats are considered more susceptible than sheep. Effective measures in limiting the spread of PPR in the EU include prompt culling of infected herds, rapid detection, movement restriction, and disinfection. Live attenuated vaccines against PPR are available, safe and effective, and have been successfully used to control PPR epidemics, but no method exists for differentiating between infected and vaccinated animals; therefore, the development of one is recommended. Awareness-raising campaigns for farmers and veterinary staff to promote recognition of the disease should be considered. The cooperation of the EU with neighbouring countries should be encouraged to prevent the spread of PPR and other transboundary diseases.

Peste des petits ruminants, spread, prevention, control, surveillance, vaccines
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