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Diagnosis and management of Peste Des Petits Ruminants (PPR) in ovines.


In arid and semi-arid regions of India, small ruminant rearing is one of the major livelihood activity for small and marginal farmers. India has a sheep and goat population of 65.06 million and 135.17 million (19th Livestock census' 2012) respectively and increasing at a faster rate. Therefore, major emphasis should be given to animal productivity, organized marketing and prevention of existing and emerging diseases like PPR so as to sustain the animal husbandry practices and better sustainable of farmers during crop failure. In India, PPR was first confirmed in March 1987 in sheep suspected of Rinderpest. It is now believed that many outbreaks in India previously attributed to rinderpest were actually PPR (Taylor, 2002).

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious, infectious, acute or sub acute economically important viral disease of small ruminants characterized by pyrexia, oculonasal discharges, stomatitis, conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis and pneumonia. The World Organization for Animal Health has identified PPR as a notifiable and economically important transboundary viral disease of sheep and goats associated with high morbidity and mortality (Diallo et al., 2007). At present, PPR is enzootic in India and outbreaks occur regularly among small ruminants throughout the country (Kerur et al., 2008), incurring significant economic losses in terms of morbidity, mortality and loss of productivity due to trade restriction (Singh et al., 2004).


The present study was conducted to report the incidence of PPR disese in an organized farm and to bring awareness among farmers in field flocks so that to safeguard the farmers' source of income loss from the deadly disease of small ruminants.

Materials and Methods

The study was conducted at the Livestock Research Station (LRS) situated at an altitude of 680 meters above mean sea level on 79o longitudes and 1 3o altitudes. The average temperature recorded was 30oC (19-40) and average humidity was 40% (21-92). Andhra Pradesh has got Summer (March-June), Rainy (July-October) and Winter (November-February) seasons and influences the performance of animals. The research station is maintaining Nellore Jodipi sheep under semi intensive rearing system with a routine herd health measures included regular vaccination and deworming. The lambs were weaned at the age of 3 months. Data on prevalence of PPR in sheep was collected from records of farm dispensary from April' 2010-March' 2015. Data on clinical case sheets, post-mortem sheets, Histo-pathological and microbiological examination results were collected from State Level Diagnostic Laboratory (SLDL), Tirupati and the same is presented as a report to bring awareness among farming community about the disease.




PPR virus is a Morbillivirus of the Family Paramyxoviridae, RNA genome and has affinity for lymphoid and epithelial tissues of the GI tract, in which it produces characteristic lesions. Geography, species, sex, age and season are the major factors associated with PPRV Infection occurrence, spread, morbidity and mortality. Goats are clearly more susceptible than sheep and disease often occurs in goats without affecting sheep in close proximity. The highest incidence was seen between age groups of 4-12 months. The virus is present in all body excretions and secretions such as tears, nasal discharge, sputum and diarrheic feces.

PPR outbreaks among sheep and goats in India can occur at any time of year, but are most frequent during the wet (April to June) or cold dry (January and February) seasons and during migration period. Inclement dry cold weather during December-February coupled with poor nutrition and stress factors during this period promotes spread of PPR. Trading small ruminants at market places, where animals from different locations and sources are brought into close contact with one another, also promotes PPRV transmission.


Clinical signs

The febrile stage showed high fever of 104-1050F accompanied by dullness, congested visible mucous membrane, severe oculonasal discharge that rapidly became profuse and purulent. Animals showed habit of shade seeking.The nasal discharge blocked the nares and encrusted the muzzle, causing the animal to snor and sneeze (Fig. 1). Congestion and necrosis affected gums, lower lip and extended over the entire oral mucosa. The tongue became coated with fetid diphtheric plaques, swollen lips and inability to eat. Profuse diarrhoea within 2-4 days after onset of fever and faeces became mucoid and blood tinged. Tenesmus of rectum was also observed. Pulmonary involvement usually occurs during later stage with cough at initially and prolonged to severe bronchopneumonia and death usually occurs within a week of onset of illness (Fig. 2).

The animals which died on post mortem showed encrustations on eyelids, nares and lips with discharges. Necrotic erosions are found throughout the oral cavity, pharynx and less frequently esophagus. The abomasum and small intestine are congested, Large intestine featured congestion around the ileo-caecal valve and 'zebra stripes' on the mucosal folds of posterior colon and caecum. Congestion and enlargement of spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes were also seen (Fig. 3).


Besides the regular ante (blood and swabs) and post-mortem (spleen and lymph nodes) samples, tissues from lung, liver and heart of infected animals are also useful for diagnosing PPR (Balamurugan et al., 2012). In present study, clinical samples like nasal secretions, blood samples and tissues from lung, liver were sent to State Level Diagnostic Laboratory (SLDL), Tirupati where they were analyzed through molecular based PCR technique and found positive for PPR Virus.

Clinical Management

Affected animals were isolated from the main flock and attended for treatment as per the clinical signs. Clinical cases of PPR were treated with broad-spectrum antibiotics like Enrofloxacin @ 3mg/kg b.wt. and Intacef (a) @ 10mg/kg b.wt. Intestinal astringents like Creta, Kaolin and catechu were administered. Intravenous fluids like Dextrose normal saline (10ml/ kg b. wt.) was administered for restoration of body ionic fluid balance for seven days. The reason for outbreak of disease could be due to poor nutrition during the cold and wet periods, stress of movement while grazing, age of susceptible animal, managemental practices etc. There were 50 sheep suffered from PPR in LRS, Palamaner but only 5 among them died which is indicating 10% mortality. Whereas Dhar et al. (2002) reported PPR morbidity of 100% and mortality of 90%. Due to good management practices and early detection of disease mortality was controlled to low. The affected sheep were fed with tender shoots and finely chopped grasses. The sheep were also drenched with ragi gruel (finger millet) as they refused feed due to painful oral lesions. Ragi is known for its high fibre level, which makes it digestible slowly, thus ensuring slow release of carbohydrates. The oral cavity was washed twice daily with a solution of Potassium permanganate (0.5%) and Glycerine was smeared on gums, tongue and palate for soothing effect. The sheds were disinfected with common disinfectants (Phenol and detergents) and shed floorings was exposed to 2% sodium hydroxide for 24 hours to kill the virus (OIE, 2002). All the healthy animals were vaccinated.


Control strategy involves inactivating the virus by strong acid or alkaline conditions within 10 minutes and application of chemical agents as 5% Chloroform, 2% Phenol and 2% Formalin. India has recently taken comprehensive steps to deal with PPR through development and production of potent vaccines and monoclonal antibody based diagnostic kits. Mass vaccination campaigns are extremely required to handle the disease which must achieve higher levels of herd immunity (70% to 80%) to block the epidemic cycle of virus. Coordinated efforts from all stakeholders, combined with proper funding and execution of control programmes, will be needed to eradicate PPR from India. The nation wide vaccination programme (national control programme of PPR) has been launched during 2010 involves vaccinating all susceptible goats and sheep and three subsequent generations in two phases so that to cover whole India including union territories to achieve PPR free India by end of 12th plan.


Annual report (2012-13), Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi.

Dhar, P., Sreenivasa, B.P. and Barrett, T. (2002). Vet. Microbiol 88: 153-59.

Diallo, A., Minet, C., Le Goff, C., Berhe, G., Albina, E., Libeau, G. and Barrett, T. (2007). The threat of peste des petits ruminants. progress in vaccine development for disease control. Vaccine 25: 5591-97.

Kerur, N., Jhala, M.K. and Joshi, C.G. (2008). Genetic characterization of Indian peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of fusion protein and nucleoprotein gene segments. Res Vet Sci. 85: 176-83.

Misbah, A., Abubakar, M., Anjum, R., Saleha, S. and Ali, Q. (2009). Prevalence of Peste Des Petits Ruminants Virus (PPRV) in Mardan, Hangu and Kohat District of

Pakistan; Comparative Analysis of PPRV Suspected serum samples using Competitive ELISA (cELISA) and Agar Gel Immunodiffusion (AGID). Vet World. 2: 89-92.

OIE (Office International des Epizooties/ World Organization of animal health) (2002). Peste des petits ruminants. Technical disease card database.

Saritha, G., Shobhamani, B., Rajak, K.K. and Sreedevi, B. (2015). Detection and confirmation of PPR virus antigen in sheep and goats by sandwich-ELISA and RTPCR in Andhra Pradesh, India. J Adv Vet Anim Res. 2: 210-12.

Singh, R.P., Saravanan, P., Sreenivasa, B.P., Singh, R.K. and Bandyopadhyay, S.K. (2004). Prevalence and distribution of peste des petits ruminants virus infection in small ruminants in India. Rev Sci Tech. 23: 807-19. Taylor, W.P., Diallo, A. and Gopalakrishnan, S. (2002). Prev. Vet Med. 52: 305-12.

Vinayagamurthy Balamurugan, Paramasivam Saravanan, Arnab Sen, Kaushal Kishor Rajak, Gnanavel Venkatesan, Paramanandham Krishnamoorthy, Veerakyathappa Bhanuprakash and Raj Kumar Singh (2012). Prevalence of peste des petits ruminants among sheep and goats in India. J. Vet. Sci. 13: 279-85.

19th Livestock Census (2012). Ministry of Agriculture Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, New Delhi.


B. Ekambaram (1), M.M. Rajesh (2) and C. Vijaya Kumar (2)

Livestock Research Station

Network Project on Sheep Improvement

Sri Venkateswara Veterinary University (SVVU)

Palamaner - 517408 (Andhra Pradesh)

(1.) Principal Scientist and Corresponding author. E-mail:

(2.) Scientist

(a) - Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad.
Timings of State Animal Husbandry Departments in India *

State/UT             Morning Timings             Evening Timings

Andhra             8:00 AM - 12:00 PM           3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  Pradesh and
Arunachal                         9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Assam          7:00 AM - 11:00 AM (summer)  3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (summer)
               8:00 AM - 12:00 AM (winter)  2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (winter)
Bihar          7:00 AM - 11:00 AM (summer)      2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
               8:00 AM - 12:00 AM (winter)
Kerala and                        9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Chhattisgarh,  7:00 AM - 11:00 AM (summer)  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (summer)
  Madhya       8:00 AM - 12:00 AM (winter)  4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (winter)
  Pradesh and
Dadra, Daman,                    10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  Diu & Nagar
Delhi                             8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Haryana        7:30 AM - 2:00 PM (summer) / 8:30 AM - 3:00 PM (winter)
Himachal                          9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Jammu &                          10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  Kashmir and
Jharkhand          8:00 AM - 12:00 AM           2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Karnataka           8:30 AM - 1:00 PM           3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Maharashtra    7:00 AM - 12:00 PM (summer)  3:00 PM - 6:00 PM (summer)
               8:00 AM - 1:00 PM (winter)   3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (winter)
Manipur        9:00 AM - 4: 00 PM (summer) / 9:30 AM- 3:30 PM (winter)
Meghalaya      8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (summer) / 8:30 AM- 4:00 PM (winter)
Mizoram                          10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Nagaland                          8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Odisha         7:00 AM - 11:00 AM (summer)  4:00 PM - 6:00 PM (summer)
               8:00 AM - 12:00 AM (winter)  3:00 PM - 5:00 PM (winter)
Punjab         8:00 AM - 2:00 PM (summer) / 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (winter)
Rajasthan                         9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tamil Nadu     9:00 AM - 12:00 PM | 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Tripura        9:00 AM - 4:00 PM (summer) / 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM (winter)
Uttar Pradesh  8:00 AM - 2:30 PM (summer) / 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM (winter)
Uttarakhand    8.30 AM - 2.30 PM (summer) / 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM (winter)
West Bengal    9.30 AM - 3.30 PM (Mon-Fri) / 9.30 AM - 12.30 PM (Sat)

* -The data is an assimilation of the available information and may
have some probable variations from the actual.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Clinical Article
Author:Ekambaram, B.; Rajesh, M.M.; Kumar, C. Vijaya
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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