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Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), caused by the PPR virus (PPRV), a Morbillivirus from the family Paramyxoviridae, is a well-recognised disease of small ruminants (Gibbs and others 1979) of exceptional importance in affected countries (OIE 2012). It also affects many species of wild small ruminants (Gür and Albayrak 2010), and was found to cause significant losses in captive wild hoofstock throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2005/2006 and 2008/2009 (Kinne and others 2010). Such outbreaks might represent a significant extinction threat to valuable populations in the area. Because culling is not desirable, prophylactic approaches to disease protection, such as effective vaccination programmes are to be favoured.
Although a live attenuated vaccine has been shown to be protective in domestic small ruminants, (Diallo and others 1989), there are no documented reports of PPRV vaccine trials in exotic hoofstock. The purpose of this study was to investigate and document seroconversion in one species of wild ungulate, the Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) in response to inoculation with a commercially available PPRV vaccine.
Fifteen healthy (based on physical exam and haematology) Arabian oryx from a private wildlife collection in Dubai, UAE (8 males; 7 females; 11–32 months old), were used in this study. For sampling, animals were restrained using a runway-drop chute system (Tamer; Fauna Research, USA) as described by O'Donovan and Bailey …