Sheep pox in Tunisia: current status and perspectives.
Sheep pox, a well-known endemic capripox infection, has significant impacts on small ruminant populations in Tunisia. It is responsible for high economic losses throughout North Africa due to its enzootic nature and to the active animal transhumance existing in some governorates in Tunisia. The aim of this review was to analyse data gathered on annual vaccination campaigns designed to control its spread by reducing the level of endemicity and to describe diagnostic and management tools adapted to the Tunisian situation. Seasonal, temporal and spatial distributions of sheep pox outbreaks, as well as related clinical features, were found. It was concluded from this review that establishing strong herd immunization through individual animal immunization, creating adequate infrastructure, increasing awareness among breeders, setting up a field-based surveillance network and improving routine diagnostic methods need to be the major components of a programme to eradicate the disease. It was also felt that cost-benefit analyses of the surveillance and control strategies used would help in controlling its persistence.