About this Research Topic
After rinderpest, peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is now targeted by the OIE and the FAO for eradication by 2030. This highly contagious disease is currently found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and was recently detected in EU, Bulgaria, on the border with Turkey. PPR threatens more than a billion sheep and goats in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It causes substantial economic losses due to high morbidity and mortality rates, and endangers the livelihoods and food security of the most vulnerable farmers in LMICs. Moreover, recent PPR outbreaks affecting wildlife species resulted in serious concerns for their conservation.
Current PPR eradication strategy heavily relies on mass vaccination campaigns. However, although the existing vaccine provides lifelong immunity, the implementation of such vaccination campaigns are both costly and logistically very challenging. In view of the limited budgets currently allocated for eradicating the disease, and the numerous constraints faced in the field, effective decision support tools are vital. It is necessary to adapt the vaccination to the epidemiological context of targeted countries and regions: mass vaccination and or vaccination of animals in identified high-risk populations in order to reduce eradication costs while boosting the chances of success.
Some of the main challenges that need to be addressed to support eradication efforts include: the development of cost-effective thermostable vaccines, the estimation of PPRV transmission levels in different settings, the structure of networks of contacts between small ruminant flocks in PPR-endemic areas and their role in short- and long-range PPR virus dissemination, the impact of small ruminant population dynamics on vaccination frequency and coverage, the roles of wildlife and domestic species other than small ruminants (e.g. cattle, camels) in the maintenance or spread of the disease, the evaluation of the socio-economic impact of PPRV outbreaks, the enhancement of surveillance systems during the vaccination and eradication periods, the farmers’ perceptions and acceptance of PPR vaccination.
We welcome the submission of original manuscripts, case-reports or reviews intended to puzzle out the ecology of PPR virus and the epidemiology of PPR: experimental, ecological and epidemiological studies, participatory and ethnographic studies, economic evaluations, field reports, statistical and mathematical models, discussions on national and international regulations and policy, as well as interdisciplinary and systemic approaches based on One Health and EcoHealth perspectives.
We expect that the articles published in this Research Topic will enhance our ability to control PPR and prevent its introduction and spread in new territories.
Keywords: peste des petits ruminants, eradication, vaccination, epidemiology, One Health
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