Biology of Animal Infections
- Paul-Pierre Pastoret, University of Liege, Belgium
Rinderpest and Peste des Petits Ruminants tells the story of how, by the year 2010, scientists are set to globally eradicate one of the great historic plagues that has ravaged human livestock for centuries. Descriptions of the disease in Europe date back to the 4th century and it was regularly re-introduced following wars and other civil unrest until late in the 19th century. It was introduced with devastating effect into Africa towards the end of the 19th century and is now widespread across sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and Southern Asia. Its causative agent, rinderpest virus, a morbillivirus very closely related to human measles virus, decimates the cattle population along with those of other susceptible domestic ruminants and many wildlife species wherever it is present.
Specialists at veterinary research institutes worldwide and those working in university veterinary departments, virologists, infectious disease specialists, and vaccine researchers