Peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a devastating viral disease of sheep and goats, has been targeted by the global community for eradication within the next 15 years. Although an efficacious attenuated live vaccine is available, the lack of knowledge about the transmission potential of PPR virus (PPRV) may compromise eradication efforts. By fitting a metapopulation model simulating PPRV spread to the results of a nationwide serological survey in Ethiopia, we estimated the level of viral transmission in an endemic setting and the vaccination coverage required for elimination. Results suggest that the pastoral production system as a whole acts as a viral reservoir, from which PPRV spills over into the sedentary production system, where viral persistence is uncertain. Estimated levels of PPRV transmission indicate that viral spread could be prevented if the proportion of immune small ruminants is kept permanently above 37% in at least 71% of pastoral village populations. However, due to the high turnover of these populations, maintaining the fraction of immune animals above this threshold would require high vaccine coverage within villages, and vaccination campaigns to be conducted annually. Adapting vaccination strategies to the specific characteristics of the local epidemiological context and small ruminant population dynamics would result in optimized allocation of limited resources and increase the likelihood of PPR eradication.
Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.