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Original Research

Orf in South Africa: Endemic but neglected

Alessandra Scagliarini, Silvia Piovesana, Filippo Turrini, Federica Savini, Fortune Sithole, Cheryl M. McCrindle

Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research; Vol 79, No 1 (2012), 8 pages. doi: 10.4102/ojvr.v79i1.499

Submitted: 27 June 2012
Published:  07 December 2012


A survey amongst sheep and goat producers and veterinarians was undertaken to collect epidemiological data on orf in South Africa. Previous epidemiological studies on the presence of the disease in the country have not been documented and this report is the first descriptive epidemiological study of orf in South Africa. A seven-month investigation, realised by direct and indirect interviews and field observation, enabled us to outline incidence and risk factors of this disease and to better understand how the local farmers in rural areas relate to it. The results may contribute to better management of the disease in rural areas. By means of molecular analyses the phylogenetic relationships between field isolates from different areas have been identified. The findings gave a first important contribution to the general assessment of the economic impact of orf virus infections and the extent of the risk to human health.

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Author affiliations

Alessandra Scagliarini, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, University of Bologna, Italy
Silvia Piovesana, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, University of Bologna, Italy
Filippo Turrini, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, University of Bologna, Italy
Federica Savini, Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie, University of Bologna, Italy
Fortune Sithole, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Cheryl M. McCrindle, School of Health Systems and Public Health, University of Pretoria, South Africa


Epidemiology; goats; orf virus; sheep; South Africa


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ISSN: 0030-2465 (print) | ISSN: 2219-0635 (online)

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