Since the discovery of Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV) in Kenya in 1930, the virus has become widespread throughout most of Africa and is characterized by sporadic outbreaks. A mosquito-borne pathogen, RVFV is poised to move beyond the African continent and the Middle East and emerge in Europe and Asia. There is a risk that RVFV could also appear in the Americas, similar to the West Nile virus. In light of this potential threat, multiple studies have been undertaken to establish international surveillance programs and diagnostic tools, develop models of transmission dynamics and risk factors for infection, and to develop a variety of vaccines as countermeasures. Furthermore, considerable efforts to establish reliable challenge models of Rift Valley fever virus have been made and platforms for testing potential vaccines and therapeutics in target species have been established. This review emphasizes the progress and insights from a North American perspective to establish challenge models in target livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats in comparisons to other researchers' reports. A brief summary of the potential role of wildlife, such as buffalo and white-tailed deer as reservoir species will also be discussed.
Keywords: RVFV; Rift Valley Fever virus; cattle; deer; goat; ruminants; sheep; vaccine.
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