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Review of Peste des Petits Ruminants Occurrence and Spread in Tanzania

Mdetele, Daniel; Komba, Erick; Misago, Seth; Misinzo, Gerald; Kock, Richard; Jones, Bryony


Daniel Mdetele

Erick Komba

Seth Misago

Gerald Misinzo

Richard Kock

Bryony Jones


Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is an important transboundary disease of domestic small ruminants, camels and wild artiodactyls. The disease has significant socioeconomic impacts on communities that depend on livestock for their livelihood, and is a threat to endangered susceptible wild species. The aim of this review was to describe the introduction of PPR to Tanzania and its subsequent spread to different parts of the country. On-line databases were searched for peer-reviewed and grey literature, formal and informal reports were obtained from Tanzanian Zonal Veterinary Investigation Centres and Laboratories, and Veterinary Officers involved with PPR surveillance were contacted. PPR virus (PPRV) was confirmed in northern Tanzania in 2008, although serological data from samples collected in the region (1998-2004) and evidence that virus was already circulating in Uganda in 2003 suggests that PPRV might have been present earlier than this. It is likely that the virus which established in Tanzania was introduced from Kenya 26 between 2006-7 through cross-border movement of small ruminants for trade or grazing resources, and then spread to eastern, central and southern Tanzania through the movement of small ruminants by pastoralists and traders during 2008 to 2010. There was no evidence for sero-conversion of wildlife sera collected up to 2012 for PPRV infection suggesting that they did not play a vectoring or bridging role in the establishment of PPR in Tanzania. PPRV lineages II, III and IV have been detected, indicating that there have been several virus introductions. PPR is now considered to be endemic in Tanzania. There is no evidence of PPR clinical disease in wildlife species, although serological samples from several wild ruminant species indicate sero-conversion from around 2013 based on the youngest animals detected positive after sampling up to 2012. Similarly, no PPR disease has been observed in cattle and camels. In these untypical hosts serological evidence indicates exposure to PPRV infection, most likely through spill-over from infected sheep and goats. Some of the challenges for PPR eradication in Tanzania are small ruminant movements to access resources and for trade, including transboundary movements, and the capacity of veterinary services
for disease surveillance and vaccination. Using wildlife and untypical domestic hosts for PPR surveillance is a useful indicator of endemism and ongoing circulation in livestock especially under vaccine implementation to control or eliminate the disease in sheep and goats. PPR disease causes major socio-economic impact in Tanzania, which justifies the investment in a comprehensive PPR eradication programme.


Mdetele, D., Komba, E., Misago, S., Misinzo, G., Kock, R., & Jones, B. (2021). Review of Peste des Petits Ruminants Occurrence and Spread in Tanzania. Animals, 11(6),

Journal Article Type Review
Acceptance Date May 28, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 7, 2021
Publication Date Jun 7, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 8, 2021
Journal Animals
Print ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 6
Article Number 1698
Public URL


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