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An Outbreak of Respiratory Disease Complex in Sheep in Central Ethiopia

Abstract

An investigation was carried out into an outbreak of respiratory disease complex (RDC) in 3641 Menz and Awassi×Menz cross sheep in Central Ethiopia between 1998 and 1999 by clinical, serological, microbiological, post-mortem and histopathological examinations. The monthly incidence of RDC varied from 2.8% to 4.0% and the prevalence was as high as 17%. The case fatality rate was 18%, despite culling of sick sheep. Over 76% of the morbidity occurred in adults, followed by 19% among weaners. Similarly, 62% of the mortality was in adults. However, 27% of the mortality occurred in lambs despite the low morbidity in the group. Significant breed and age differences were seen in the morbidity and mortality rates (p<0.05). Clinical signs, gross and microscopic lesions and serological and bacteriological examinations showed an interplay of several causes of the RDC, including pestes des petits ruminants (PPR) (72.3%, serologically confirmed), lung worms, maedi-visna, bacterial bronchopneumonia (staphylococcal and streptococcal), enzootic pneumonia and some fungal infections. Cold temperatures, which may be as low as –8.5°C at night, are major predisposing factors along with managemental stresses. Vaccination of animals with a homologous PPR vaccine appeared to decrease dramatically the occurrence of the disease, showing that PPR played an important role in the outbreak. Several of the pathogens do not appear to be individually capable of causing the respiratory disease. Appropriate strategies for the prevention of RDC are suggested.

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Tibbo, M., Woldemeskel, M. & Gopilo, A. An Outbreak of Respiratory Disease Complex in Sheep in Central Ethiopia. Tropical Animal Health and Production 33, 355–365 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010565905004

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1010565905004

  • control
  • epidemiology
  • pathology
  • peste des petits ruminants
  • pneumonia
  • respiratory disease
  • sheep