Serological evidence of camel exposure to peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) in Nigeria

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a viral disease of sheep and goats, is endemic in Nigeria. There are reports indicating the involvement of peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV), the causative agent of PPR, in a camel respiratory syndrome in Africa. Considering that camels share the same grazing land and drinking points with other ruminants, this study was undertaken to determine the seroprevalence and extent of PPRV antibodies in Nigerian camels. A total of 1517 camel sera samples were collected from four states (Borno, Kano, Kastina and Sokoto). The seroprevalence was determined by the H-protein-based competitive ELISA. The overall prevalence was 3.36% (51/1517, 95% confidence interval of 2.51-4.39%). There was no significant differences in prevalence between states (p = 0.8921) and between male and female camels (p = 0.7424). The prevalence differed significantly (p < 0.00001) by body condition score; camels with poor body condition score has higher (16.67%) antibody seroprevalence to PPR compared to those with fair and good body condition score. There was a statistically significant difference between camels aged 5 years (p = 0.0042). These results show occasional transient PPRV infection of camels in Nigeria, and there is the need to include camels among species to be studied in elucidating the epidemiology of the disease in sheep and goats.

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