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Addressing African swine fever

Laboratory protocols and algorithms










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    Article
    Peste des Petits Ruminants Virus Infection at the Wildlife–Livestock Interface in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem, 2015–2019 2021
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    Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a viral disease of goats and sheep that occurs in Africa, the Middle East and Asia with a severe impact on livelihoods and livestock trade. Many wild artiodactyls are susceptible to PPR virus (PPRV) infection, and some outbreaks have threatened endangered wild populations. The role of wild species in PPRV epidemiology is unclear, which is a knowledge gap for the Global Strategy for the Control and Eradication of PPR. These studies aimed to investigate PPRV infection in wild artiodactyls in the Greater Serengeti and Amboseli ecosystems of Kenya and Tanzania. Out of 132 animals purposively sampled in 2015–2016, 19.7% were PPRV seropositive by ID Screen PPR competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA; IDvet, France) from the following species: African buffalo, wildebeest, topi, kongoni, Grant’s gazelle, impala, Thomson’s gazelle, warthog and gerenuk, while waterbuck and lesser kudu were seronegative. In 2018–2019, a cross-sectional survey of randomly selected African buffalo and Grant’s gazelle herds was conducted. The weighted estimate of PPRV seroprevalence was 12.0% out of 191 African buffalo and 1.1% out of 139 Grant’s gazelles. All ocular and nasal swabs and faeces were negative by PPRV real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). Investigations of a PPR-like disease in sheep and goats confirmed PPRV circulation in the area by rapid detection test and/or RT-qPCR. These results demonstrated serological evidence of PPRV infection in wild artiodactyl species at the wildlife–livestock interface in this ecosystem where PPRV is endemic in domestic small ruminants. Exposure to PPRV could be via spillover from infected small ruminants or from transmission between wild animals, while the relatively low seroprevalence suggests that sustained transmission is unlikely. Further studies of other major wild artiodactyls in this ecosystem are required, such as impala, Thomson’s gazelle and wildebeest.
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    Book (series)
    Veterinary laboratory testing protocols for priority zoonotic diseases in Africa 2023
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    Animal health laboratories play a crucial role in veterinary disease diagnosis and surveillance for the prevention and control of transboundary animal diseases, including those of economic impact or zoonotic threat with potential pandemic risk. Enhancing the diagnostic capacity of laboratories is an essential pillar for generating accurate data, particularly in settings where fundamental gaps and capacity constraints may prevent the early, rapid and reliable detection of many animal diseases. Importantly, the constant evolution of pathogens coupled with the rise of technology and assay development calls for ongoing guidance on current protocols and techniques. This is also particularly essential to ensure the use of carefully developed and validated tests. This compendium of protocols aims to contribute to capacity building efforts for sustainable and reliable functioning of animal health laboratories in Member States. It provides a practical and pragmatic resource for novel or updated validated diagnostic techniques to be introduced in accordance with a sustainable quality management system to ensure specific, accurate and reproducible results. The selected diseases included in this document are the most common priority zoonotic diseases (PZDs) identified in Africa. For each selected disease, the diagnostic protocols are explained focusing on assays that have been tested and validated by references laboratories to ensure their fitness for purpose. Laboratories around the world may use this compendium of protocols as guidance to update, enhance or expand their diagnostic assays.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Recommendations for the epidemiological investigation of SARS-CoV-2 in exposed animals
    SARS-CoV-2 detection in farmed and companion animals
    2021
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    Acknowledging the zoonotic nature of SARS-CoV-2, investigations about potential animal hosts are of great importance to improve understanding of COVID-19 epidemiology and identify susceptible animal species as well as possible transmission between humans and animals. Positive findings by a polymerase chain reaction in dogs, cats, farmed mink, and wild feline in zoos have raised concerns about the possible role livestock and companion animals could play in the amplification and spread of the virus. Several studies looking at the binding affinity of SARS-CoV-2 receptor in different animal species hypothesized a probable wide range of animal hosts especially mammals. Field studies need to be undertaken now, in the short term, while virus circulation in humans is ongoing in different parts of the world. A thorough One Health investigation is recommended by FAO for events where livestock and companion animals are in close contact to confirmed human COVID-19 cases, or in situations where animals tested SARS-CoV-2 positive in absence of information on the infection status of in-contact humans. By jointly analyzing laboratory and epidemiological information on human and animal cases collected by public health and veterinary services, so-called 4-way linking, our understanding of the epidemiology of COVID-19 and potential transmission between humans and animals will be greatly enhanced.

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