Ovine Progressive Pnuemonia (OPP) is a progressive viral disease of adult sheep. Most infected animals never develop symptoms, but those that do typically don't show signs of the disease until 2 years of age or older. Common signs include general loss of body condition, increased breathing effort, unsteady gait and more. Once an animal is infected it remains infected for life. Flocks infected with OPP can have lowered efficiency from higher culling rates, decreased milk production, and lower weaning weights.
OPP is mainly transmitted from infected dams to their kids by the ingestion of virus containing colostrum or milk. Horizontal transmission in adults does occur, especially in close confinement where respiratory secretions are easily contracted by another sheep. Fence-line contact and shared feed and water containers have also been shown to allow for transmission. Transmission can also occur by exposure to contaminated needles and other instruments.
Since there is no treatment for OPP, prevention is key. Introduction of OPP can be reduced by implementing a closed herd policy or testing all newly acquired animals prior to introduction to the farm. For operations that already have OPP-infected sheep, serological testing of the flock at appropriate time intervals, with removal or isolation of infected animals, is the first step toward control. An appropriate diagnostics and control plan should be developed with your Veterinarian.
Producers make significant management and culling decisions based on test results, so the test they use must be accurate and reliable. We offer an ELISA test manufactured by VMRD of Pullman, Washington. The assay has a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 99.6%.
To use our OPP testing services submit 2 mL of whole blood or 1 mL of serum. Please collect blood in red or tiger (grey and red) topped blood collection tubes. Check out our store if you need to purchase the proper collection supplies.
OPP tests are run every Tuesday with results reporting Wednesday. Please download the submission form if you are interested in fast, accurate OPP testing of your goats. Price is just $6.00 per sample.