Impact of livestock diseases in Africa

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Contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP)

CCPP is a disease of goats caused by Mycoplasma capricolum subspecies capripneumoniae (Mccp). It is characterized by high morbidity (80-100%) and mortality (60-100%) rates. The disease is of major economic importance in Africa and has been described as the most serious infectious disease of goats in East Africa. A specific risk for CCPP is that it has been spreading beyond its traditional distribution area due to lack of diagnostic capacity in most countries; poor transportation access to the affected areas and inadequate availability of control tools.

Geographical spread

The distribution of the disease in the African continent is not well known as veterinary services are not able to confirm suspicious cases. This is due to difficulties in isolating the causative agent or inability of the diagnostic laboratories to use Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) based techniques. So far the CCPP situation seems well characterised in Eastern and Horn of African countries (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan and Somalia ). Little is known in other African countries where the disease seems to evolve in an epizootic manner with outbreaks occurring very irregularly (Chad 1987, 1995, Cameroon 1997, Tunisia 1982 and Nigeria 2008 ) threatening the rest of the continent and beyond. The most recent information in 2009 on CCPP indicates that the disease is now Mauritius and Tajikistan, an illustration that this disease may have a much wider distribution and importance than actually declared. While the real distribution of CCPP is unknown in many African countries it is very probable that the disease has a much wider distribution but confirmation of outbreaks are not done because of clinical confusion with other syndromes such as Pasteurellosis; the wide use of antibiotic treatments which modify the clinical course; the difficulties to grow the causative organisms and the absence of adequate samples submitted to national reference laboratories for diagnosis.


Direct losses due to CCPP are associated with the high morbidity and mortality rates (100% and > 60% respectively) of the disease which leads to reduced milk and meat yield and loss of income thus worsening food and nutritional security. Indirect losses are associated with the extra cost of treatment, increased risk associated with antibiotic residues and reproductive wastage.
In most goat production systems in Africa, goats are often the responsibility of women and CCPP therefore negatively impacts on the ability of women to provide for their children and family needs. Goats have the advantage over cattle of recovering faster following droughts.

Current strategies for control using vaccination

CCPP is an OIE listed notifiable disease and vaccination associated with antibiotic treatment is the most important strategy to control the disease. While an effective vaccine for CCPP exists, control strategies are impaired by lack of diagnostic capacity in most countries and limited vaccine production capacity linked to technical limitations in the production process. Increasing diagnostic and vaccine production capacities will therefore be a prerequisite for informed intervention strategies for control of the disease to reduce its impact. There is only one vaccine available for CCPP. This is a killed vaccine currently produced by the National Veterinary Institute (NVI) in Ethiopia and the Kenya Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI). Trials of the vaccine have shown it to be highly effective, providing protection for over one year. However, there is a limited production capacity.