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Post Eradication Strategy

 

Strategic plan for the post-rinderpest eradication era

 

Together with the OIE, the FAO is developing a strategy for managing rinderpest after eradication. The components of this strategy include:

 

  • contingency planning for unexpected outbreaks
  • auditing and sequestration of all remaining infectious rinderpest virus
  • a historical account of the disease and its eradication.

Contingency planning activities that have either commenced or are foreseen include a survey of all biological materials that might contain infectious rinderpest virus; designation of laboratories where the vaccine might be banked for possible emergency use; designation of laboratories where diagnostic capacity must be maintained, and designation of laboratories where virulent rinderpest virus is stored.

 

Contingency plans will also focus on establishing: a clear direction on the conditions under which rinderpest virus may be used for scientific study; various mechanisms to ensure continuous and sensitive surveillance for rinderpest, and training to create pools of professional staff capable of recognizing and combating rinderpest. Preparation of an inventory of all stocks of live virus, both attenuated and virulent, are underway, in addition to initial preparation of the historical account of "Rinderpest and its eradication".

 

Within the framework of the strategic plan, it is recommended that OIE/FAO also jointly establish an advisory body to (i) to advise the Directors-General of both organizations on approval of facilities for holding rinderpest virus-containing material and of facilities that produce and/or hold rinderpest vaccines, (ii) advise the Directors-General on approval of requests for research and other manipulation of rinderpest virus, (iii) review the plans and results of regular site surveys of virus repositories, and (iv) provide relevant advice to the Directors-General in related areas.

 

One other post-rinderpest eradication activity being undertaken by FAO is to maximize the opportunity presented by the success of GREP to re-direct attention and resources to other diseases that are open to progressive control and eradication. Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) has been identified as a possible candidate for this and GREP is developing, for consideration, a control/eradication strategy for this disease.

 

Specific actions recommended

 

  • Study potential sources of latent rinderpest reservoir species in historically relevant ecosystems as well as reversion of virulence or vaccine or attenuated strains.
  • Formulate the PPR control/eradication strategy using lessons leaned from GREP and step-wise progressive control measures.
  • Build local institutional capacity to monitor clinical syndromes compatible with rinderpest infection.
  • Establish an informal group to advise on further research and conditions for rinderpest virus repositories and safe storage.
  • Establish risk-based surveillance in ecosystems with former low incidence and regional training to create pools of new rinderpest experts who can react in case of any outbreak.
  • Organize a response plan for use of emergency vaccine stock (with caution to monitor the type of vaccines used any time after the declaration of rinderpest eradication) and diagnostic reagents and kit stocks.
  • Strengthen laboratory capacity, epidemiological surveillance and early warning systems to alert veterinary services and track rumours of rinderpest re-emergence. GREP should continue to monitor the global situation, through 2020.