A tribute to the work of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division for the Control and Eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR)
Mr Adama Diallo receives the honour on behalf of himself and Joint FAO-IAEA Division of the IAEA from Côte d'Ivoire Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan
At the International Conference for the Control and Eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in April, Dr Adama Diallo, a staff member of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division, was elevated to the grade of Officer of the National Order of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire. This award recognises his particular role in creating the PPR vaccine and, in a broader perspective, all the work that the Joint FAO/IAEA Division has undertaken in this area over many years.
PPR, which was reported for the first time in 1942, is currently the most important infectious disease of sheep and goat with morbidity and mortality rates that can reach 80% in all regions where it is endemic, including Africa, the Middle and Near East, Central Asia, West Asia and China.
In February 1985, Mr Diallo started working on a project to develop a PPR homologous vaccine which was successfully tested. As studies carried out from 1989 to 1995 proved that the selected PPRV attenuated clone was a safe PPR vaccine candidate, Mr Diallo began work to manufacture the vaccine on a larger scale in 1997.
Mr Diallo’s work provided the first biochemical proof that the Rinderpest (RP) virus and the PPR virus were in fact two different and distinct viruses. He furthermore developed the first nucleic acid-based technique for their differential diagnosis in 1986.
left to right - Mr Adama Diallo, OIE Director General Bernard Vallat, Côte d'Ivoire Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncan, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva, Côte d'Ivoire Minister of Fishery and Animal Resources Mr Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani
From 1988 onwards, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division in Vienna has contributed to the transfer of the different RP and PPR diagnostic assays to FAO and IAEA Member States. Mr Diallo moved from Cirad (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) to the FAO/IAEA Biotechnology Laboratory in January 2001, when the Joint FAO/IAEA Division started research activities to develop tools for PPR control and their transfer to the Member States. Since 2010, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division has also conducted training courses on PPR diagnosis and PPR proficiency tests in many laboratories in Africa and Asia.
Today, all the required tools for the implementation of PPR control and eradication programmes are fully available, and the work of Mr Diallo and colleagues in the Joint FAO/IAEA Division to reach this threshold has been recognized through this high honour recently bestowed in Côte d’Ivoire.
Further information: The International Conference for the Control and Eradication of Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) was held from 31 March to 2 April 2015, and is a joint initiative undertaken by FAO and World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) as part of the fight for food security in developing countries.