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Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in Ethiopia: Analysis of a national serological survey

Agnès Waret-Szkuta12*, François Roger2, David Chavernac2, Laikemariam Yigezu3, Geneviève Libeau2, Dirk U Pfeiffer1 and Javier Guitián1

Author Affiliations

1 Epidemiology Division, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts. AL9 7TA, UK

2 CIRAD, Campus International de Baillarguet, 34 398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

3 FAO, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Veterinary Research 2008, 4:34  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-4-34

Published: 12 September 2008



Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a contagious viral disease of small ruminants in Africa and Asia. In 1999, probably the largest survey on PPR ever conducted in Africa was initiated in Ethiopia where 13 651 serum samples from 7 out of the 11 regions were collected and analyzed by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). The objective of this paper is to present the results of this survey and discuss their practical implications for PPR-endemic regions.


We explored the spatial distribution of PPR in Ethiopia and we investigated risk factors for positive serological status. Intracluster correlation coefficients (ρ), were calculated for 43 wereda (administrative units).


Seroprevalence was very heterogeneous across regions and even more across wereda, with prevalence estimates ranging from 0% to 52.5%. Two groups of weredas could be distinguished on the basis of the estimated ρ: a group with very low ρ (ρ < 0.12) and a group with very high ρ (ρ > 0.37).


The results indicate that PPRV circulation has been very heterogeneous, the values for the ρ may reflect the endemic or epidemic presence of the virus or the various degrees of mixing of animals in the different areas and production systems. Age appears as a risk factor for seropositive status, the linear effect seeming to confirm in the field that PPRV is highly immunogenic. Our estimates of intracluster correlation may prove useful in the design of serosurveys in other countries where PPR is of importance.