Rinderpest virus (RPV), a member of genus Morbillivirus in the family Paramyxoviridae, causes an acute and often fatal disease in cattle and other large ruminants (buffalo and wild cloven-footed animals).

Transmission takes place by direct or close indirect contacts.Rinderpestdisease is characterized by high fever, discharge from eyes and nose, salivation, erosions of the mouth, gums and other mucous membranes, diarrhea, and dehydration. Death is common, either from the disease itself or from secondary infections that are able to take advantage of the profound immunosuppression caused by RPV infection.

Rinderpest was considered until recently as the most dreaded cattle disease, causing massive losses of livestock and wildlife on three continents. The economic consequences of outbreaks of rinderpest in domestic livestock can be devastating. The virus has been the target of a world-wide eradication campaign promoted by the OIE and the FAO. Through intensive and long-lasting vaccination campaigns it is believed that the virus has been eradicated in the wild from previously infected areas in Europe, Asia, the Near East, the Arabian Peninsula andAfricaand the world will be soon considered as free of rinderpest.

More information

Technical disease cards OIE

Disease facts: Rinderpest (IAH)

Manual of the diagnosis of Rinderpest (FAO)

Research group working on rinderpest

Paramyxo and Bunya virus group (IAH)

EPIZONE and rinderpest

Risk assessment

  • EPIZONE has contributed to ongoing assessment of the risk of other morbilliviruses filling the niche that will be left by the eradication of rinderpest  through studies of the host-specificity of disease caused by this group of viruses.