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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Serological Evidence of Exposure to Peste des Petits Ruminants in Small Ruminants in Rwanda

Shyaka, Anselme; Ugirabe, Marie Aurore; Wensman, Jonas Johansson


The status of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in Rwanda is unknown, despite its prevalence in neighboring countries. A cross-sectional sampling of goats and sheep was carried out in five districts of Rwanda located closer to neighboring countries endemic to PPR. Serum samples were analyzed using a commercial ELISA, to detect antibodies to PPR virus (PPRV). Sixty-eight samples [14.8, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 11.7-18.4] were seropositive for PPR, of which 17.4% (95% CI: 11.6-24.6; 25/144) were from sheep, whereas 13.6% (95% CI: 10.0-17.9; 43/316) were from goats. Seropositivity ranged from 8.9 to 17.3% (goats) and from 10.5 to 25.8% (sheep) in sampled districts. Seropositivity was slightly higher in males than females in both goats (15.7 vs. 12.4%) and sheep (17.7 vs. 17.1%), and were significantly marked in goats and sheep aged more than 15 months (goats: 17.9, 95% CI: 12.9-24.0; sheep: 22.2, 95% CI: 14.1-32.2) than those between 6 and 15 months (goats: 6.1, 95% CI: 2.5-12.1; sheep: 9.3, 95% CI: 3.1-20.3). Sampling was non-randomized and results are not representative of the true prevalence of PPR antibody in small ruminants. Thus, data does not allow to fully discuss the findings beyond the presence/absence certitude and the comparisons made must be interpreted with caution. The presence of specific antibodies to PPRV may, however, be linked to one or a combination of following scenarios: (1) prevalence and persistence of PPRV in sampled regions which would cause low level of clinical cases and/or mortalities that go unnoticed; (2) introduction of PPRV to herds through movements of livestock from neighboring infected countries, and/or (3) events of disease outbreaks that are underreported by farmers and veterinarians. In addition to strengthen veterinary surveillance mechanisms, further studies using robust sampling methods and integrating livestock and wildlife, should be carried out to fully elucidate PPR epidemiology in Rwanda.


small ruminants; Rwanda; PPR; seroprevalence; transboundary diseases

Published in

Frontiers in Veterinary Science
2021, volume: 8, article number: 651978

Authors' information

Shyaka, Anselme
University of Rwanda
Ugirabe, Marie Aurore
University of Rwanda
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Clinical Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Clinical Science

Publication Identifiers


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