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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.