Nairobi sheep disease virus /Ganjam virus

Nairobi sheep disease virus (NSDV) is a tick-borne virus which causes a severe disease in sheep and goats, and has been responsible for several outbreaks of disease in East Africa. The virus is also found in the Indian subcontinent, where it is known as Ganjam virus. The virus only spreads through the feeding of competent infected ticks, and it is therefore limited in its geographic distribution by the distribution of those ticks, Rhipicephalus appendiculata in Africa and Haemaphysalis intermedia in India. Animals bred in endemic areas d not normally develop disease, and the impact is therefore primarily on animals being moved for trade or breeding purposes. The disease caused by NSDV has similarities to several other ruminant diseases, and laboratory diagnosis is necessary for confirmation. There are published methods for diagnosis based on polymerase chain reaction, for virus growth in cell culture and for other simple diagnostic tests, though none has been commercialised. There is no established vaccine against NSDV, although cell-culture attenuated strains have been developed which show promise and could be put into field trials if it were deemed necessary. The virus is closely related to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus, and studies on NSDV may therefore be useful in understanding this important human pathogen.

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