Rinderpest Virus

Authored by: Ashley C. Banyard , Anke Brüning-Richardson , Satya Parida

Manual of Security Sensitive Microbes and Toxins

Print publication date:  April  2014
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781466553965
eBook ISBN: 9781466553989
Adobe ISBN:


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Rinderpest, or “cattle plague,” is a highly contagious viral disease that can affect all species of even-toed ungulates, order Artiodactyla. Until 2011, the causative agent of this disease, rinderpest virus (RPV), was the most feared viral infection of large ruminants causing severe mortalities across endemic regions. However, in 2011, this virus was declared as being eradicated following an extensive program of vaccination and serosurveillance. 1 Within the order Artiodactyla, rinderpest was able to infect animals including yak, giraffe, hippopotamus, antelope, cattle, and buffalo. The clinical manifestations of RPV infection could vary, depending both on the virus strain and the species infected, but RPV was generally characterized by certain classical symptoms. These included a sudden onset of fever leading to mucopurulent ocular and nasal discharges, necrosis, ulceration, and erosion of the mucosal lining of the oral cavity, nares, and digestive tract, the latter leading to severe diarrhea, dehydration, and death. 2 Infection by the same virus strain could vary from mild to acute and lethal depending on the species involved. Buffalo were extremely susceptible, and in some buffalo populations, infection with certain viral strains, which were mild in cattle, could exact morbidity and mortality rates approaching 90%. 3,4

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