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The Experimental Infection of Goats with Small Ruminant Morbillivirus Originated from Barbary Sheep

Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) is a transboundary contagious disease in domestic small ruminants. Infections with the small ruminant morbillivirus (SRMV) were regularly found in wildlife, with unknown roles in PPR epidemiology. In order to access infection dynamics and virulence, we infected German Edelziege goats intranasally with a SRMV isolate that originated from Barbary sheep from an outbreak in the United Arab Emirates. Six goats were infected with cell culture-isolated SRMV, and two goats were kept in contact. Goats were daily monitored, and clinical score was recorded. EDTA blood, nasal, conjunctival and rectal swab samples were collected for the detection of SRMV genome load and serum for serological analysis. Short incubation period in infected (4 to 5 dpi) as well as in contact goats (9 dpi) was followed by typical clinical signs related to PPR. The highest viral load was detectable in conjunctival and nasal swab samples with RT-qPCR and rapid pen-side test. Specific antibodies were detected at 7 dpi in infected and 14 dpi in contact goats. In general, high virulence and easy transmission of the virus originated from wildlife in domestic goats was observed. The virus isolate belongs to Asian lineage IV, genetically related to Chinese and Mongolian strains.



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