Molecular characterization of peste des petits ruminants virus from the Karamoja region of Uganda (2007-2008)
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Antibodies against peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) were first detected in goats in East Africa in 1995 without any clinical disease. It was not until during the years 2006 and 2007 that the disease outbreaks were first reported in Kenya and Uganda, respectively. This study was carried out to detect and characterize PPRV from a suspected outbreak in sheep and goats in the Karamoja region in 2007-2008. Oculo-nasal and blood samples were tested using F-gene-based primers, and their genetic relationships to other sequences in the GenBank database were investigated. A total of 383 samples suspected to contain PPRV were randomly collected and tested. Sixty-seven (17.5%) were positive when F protein gene primers were used. During the years 2007 and 2008, 38.1% (26/67) and 13.0% (41/316) of samples were positive by PCR, respectively. The 2007 sequences clustered with Asian sequences in lineage 4 and Cote d’Ivoire 86 (ICV 86) in lineage 2, while all of the 2008 samples clustered in lineage 1. Over the years, the implicated strains were genetically close (88%–91%) to the vaccine strain (Nig 75/1). Based on this study, the circulating PPR strains in Uganda are heterogeneous, and therefore, the disease may have been introduced from different sources.
KeywordsSmall Ruminant Buffy Coat Suspected Outbreak Karamoja Region Disease Control Policy
We are sincerely grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries for clearing the study, and Dr. Rose Ademun for allowing us the use of 2007 samples. We are also grateful to the staff of the National Animal Disease Diagnostic and Epidemiology Centre, Entebbe, and the staff of the Institute of Animal Health (IAH), Pirbright, UK, for confirmatory diagnosis. This work was partly funded by a grant from FAO (No. FAO/RAF/3113E).
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