Service Communautaire d'Information sur la Recherche et le Développement - CORDIS

Periodic Report Summary - RP/PPR MARKVAC (Development of marker vaccines, companion diagnostic tests and improvement of epidemiological knowledge to facilitate control of rinderpest ...)

MARKVAC's aims were to develop marker vaccines capable of preventing RP and PPR infections and also companion tests to differentiate between infected and vaccinated animals. This differentiation is of major importance for eradication programmes because it may allow more precise targeting of vaccination while sero-surveillance of the disease could be maintained through the use of companion diagnostic tests. This would allow for a quicker lifting of control measures. Through reverse genetics technology it was also aimed to improve the quality and the safety of these marker vaccines derived from current attenuated strains.

The project developed and improved epidemiological information systems for a better analysis of the current situation for rinderpest and PPR and for predicting the impact of vaccination strategies on the control of the two diseases. It co-coordinated and developed a set of tools and skills such as spread models, early warning, surveillance and monitoring tools, which can be used by decision makers for risk assessment, decision support for intervention and public health policies both at the European Union (EU) and at the national or regional level. Part of MARKVAC's innovation is to combine spatial data (earth observation data, Geographic information system (GIS), etc.) with epidemiological data. Thus the expected outputs from this proposal will give additional support to some existing EU developing country programmes.

In this project positively and negatively marker vaccines for Rinderpest (RP) and Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) viruses based on reverse genetics technology, were developed. The positive impact of this research will be best seen in areas experiencing the diseases for focussed ring vaccination to control or eradicate the disease, combined with appropriate companion tests that allow differentiation of vaccinated from infected animals.

To determine the status of PPR in any area and take the appropriate action, apparent prevalence of PPR in the studied sites was estimated with current tests with validated performances characteristics. The compiled information was organised into a GIS which will allow the subsequent incorporation of information on new outbreaks. In addition, experimental studies have been initiated to provide data and parameters for the disease transmission model.

This information must inform strategies for the disease surveillance. In association with the genetically marker vaccines, this could greatly help with the control measures for PPR in the enzootic areas.

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