PloS one 2018 01 1913(1) e0190296 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0190296
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious and widespread viral infection of small ruminants (goats and sheep), causing heavy economic losses in many developing countries. Therefore, its progressive control and global eradication by 2030 was defined as a priority by international organizations addressing animal health. The control phase of the global strategy is based on mass vaccination of small ruminant populations in endemic regions or countries. It is estimated that a 70% post-vaccination immunity rate (PVIR) is needed in a given epidemiological unit to prevent PPR virus spread. However, implementing mass vaccination is difficult and costly in smallholder farming systems with scattered livestock and limited facilities. Regarding this, controlling PPR is a special challenge in sub-Saharan Africa. In this study, we focused on this region to assess the effect of several variables of PVIR in two contrasted smallholder farming systems.
Using a seasonal matrix population model of PVIR, we estimated its decay in goats reared in sub-humid areas, and sheep reared in semi-arid areas, over a 4-year vaccination program. Assuming immunologically naive and PPR-free epidemiological unit, we assessed the ability of different vaccination scenarios to reach the 70% PVIR throughout the program. The tested scenarios differed in i) their overall schedule, ii) their delivery month and iii) their vaccination coverage.
In sheep reared in semi-arid areas, the vaccination month did affect the PVIR decay though it did not in goats in humid regions. In both cases, our study highlighted i) the importance of targeting the whole eligible population at least during the two first years of the vaccination program and ii) the importance of reaching a vaccination coverage as high as 80% of this population. This study confirmed the relevance of the vaccination schedules recommended by international organizations.