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Peste des petits ruminants outbreak investigation among goats and sheep in Kenema District, Sierra Leone, March 2023

Idriss Mustapha Edwin
Pius Nicol George
Haddy Leigh Mohamed
Leno Amara
Foray Samba Ahmed


Background: Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a contagious transboundary viral disease of small ruminants. The PPR  virus has high  morbidity and mortality, reaching 100% and over 90% in naïve herds, respectively. The  disease is endemic to Sierra Leone, especially in  areas where the animals are extensively reared. The  present outbreak investigation describes clinical observations and laboratory  conGirmation of the PPR virus in goats and sheep using conventional Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). 

Methods Livestock keepers in  the affected village reported signs of diarrhoea, pneumonia, and death among their  animals to the District Livestock Officer (DLO).  Clinical examination was done and samples collected from  the animals. Serum samples were tested using the blocking Enzyme-Linked  Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)  AU-PANVAC kit. The swabs were analyzed using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) as per the  manufacturer’s recommendations.

Results Clinical examination done on animals showed ulceration of the mouth, lacrimation of the  eyes, purulent nasal discharge, rough coats, and diarrhea. These signs were mainly observed in goats. The sheep were not  showing any  visible disease signs. Eight (8) serum samples tested positive for PPR virus antibodies by the  bELISA. Four (4) nasal and ocular swabs  yielded an expected amplicon size of 350 bp by conventional PCR

Conclusion  Based on the clinical signs observed from our findings, PCR  and serology; we therefore concluded that the  pathogen that caused the current outbreak in Kenema District is PPRV.  

Recommendations  More efforts be made to control this disease in the country through vaccination of the animals. Livestock  farmers  should implement good husbandry practice and biosecurity on their farms. 

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eISSN: 2076-6270
print ISSN: 2076-6270