Med. Weter. 79 (3), 111-116, 2023

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Foot-and mouth disease and peste des petits ruminants – the role of wildlife in the epidemiology and control of diseases
Foot-and mouth disease (FMD) and peste des petits ruminants (PPR) are highly contagious and an economically devastating diseases, currently endemic to the African and Asian continents. The aim of this paper was to present the role of wildlife in the epidemiology of both diseases. There are more than 100 species of wild, feral, laboratory, or domesticated animals that have been infected naturally or experimentally with FMD or PPR viruses. Experimental infections of several African wild ruminants can result in clinical FMD. African buffalo represents the best known FMD wild host reservoir in Sub-Saharan Africa. North American mule deer were found susceptible to FMDV infection with significant mortality. Other wild ruminants such as impala can also contribute to FMDV maintenance. In Europe several deer species and the Eurasian wild boar are susceptible to FMDV. PPRV has been reported to have infected some wildlife, such as African buffalo, saiga antelope, dorcas gazelles, gemsbok, Nubian ibex and some other ungulate species. The role of wildlife in FMD and PPR epidemiology may concern wildlife as indicators, victims, bridge hosts or maintenance hosts for both diseases. In addition, they are occasionally victims of disease outbreaks, and they are often relevant for disease management as either bridge or maintenance hosts. Wildlife deserves to become a key component of future integrated surveillance and disease control strategies in an ever-changing world. However, it must be stated that efforts to control FMD and PPR in wildlife may not be successful when the diseases are endemic in livestock and may cause more harm to wildlife, human livelihoods, and domestic animals.
Keywords: foot-and-mouth disease, peste des petits ruminants, wildlife, epidemiology, control