Molecular characterization of peste des petits ruminants virus strains circulating in sheep and goats in Iran

Babaoglu A. R., Mahzounieh M., Dagalp S.

JOURNAL OF THE HELLENIC VETERINARY MEDICAL SOCIETY, vol.74, no.4, pp.6707-6718, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 74 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.12681/jhvms.31442
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.6707-6718
  • Keywords: Iran, PPRV, Phylogenetic analysis, Real time-qPCR
  • Van Yüzüncü Yıl University Affiliated: Yes


Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) infection is an acute to sub-acute viral disease in both domestic 

and wild small ruminants. Recent outbreaks of PPRV in Turkey’s Marmara region and in Europe (Georgia and Bulgar-

ia) highlight the potential risk of PPR spreading to a larger geographic area. In order to achieve a successful control and 

eradication program, evaluating etiyological data prior to developing disease control strategies is an essential criterion. 

The aim of this study was to perform molecular characterization of PPRVs found in sheep and goats in Iran. For this 

purpose, a total of 341 animal specimens were collected from sheep (n = 271) and goats (n = 70) with clinical signs of 

PPRV infection from twelve different provinces. RT-real time-qPCR assay based on nucleoprotein (N) with a plasmid 

standard reference, which is rapid and sensitive for the diagnosis of infection, was used for the detection of PPRV nu-

cleic acid. In the RT-real time-qPCR assay, a positivity rate of 29,91% (102/341) was detected for PPRV nucleic acid. 

At the nucleotide level, the N-gene partial sequence analysis of sixteen viral sequences obtained from four provinces of 

Iran showed 96.8%-100% similarity and 97.6%-100% and 88.2%-89% similarity to the Turkey2000 reference isolate 

and Nigeria 75/1 vaccine strain, respectively. Except for two viral sequences, the secondary protein structure of the 

approximately 80 amino acid long nucleoprotein region in the sixteen viral sequences revealed structural similarity 

in the alpha-helix and beta-leaf structures for all PPRVs of Iranian origin. In the phylogenetic tree, PPRVs circulating 

in Iran are homologous, belong to genetic lineage IV, and are closely related to the Turkey2000 isolate. According to 

the results of this work, it is emphasized that PPRV circulates in Iran, causes outbreaks and deaths, and should be con-

trolled. In addition, further studies on the molecular analyses of the N protein of the Iranian isolates will help clarify 

the origin of the disease and determine the genetic diversity of the virus