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Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)

The Disease

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral vesicular disease of cloven-hoofed animals. Although seldom lethal in adult animals, it causes serious production losses and is a major constraint to international trade in livestock products. Severe mortality may occur in young stock, particularly lambs and piglets.

Geographical Distribution

FMD is endemic and at a high prevalence in many countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia and is also present in parts of South America. Europe, North and Central America, the Pacific nations and the Caribbean are free from the disease.

FMD pandemics (epidemic affecting many countries) have been seen for type O (new PanAsia strain), type A (especially A Iran 05 strain) and Asia-1, in south and west Asia and extending to the middle-east. Epidemic trends in Africa have been less easy to observe as the level of virus typing is less. In South America, FMD is increasingly confined to two regions, but these may act as a source for the neighbouring free regions and are a barrier to the eradication from the continent.

Serotype distribution:
  • type O - Asia, parts of Africa and South America, with recent incursions into the United Kingdom and parts of western Europe;
  • type A - Asia, parts of South America and Africa, occasional but devastating incursions with new antigenic variants into marginal areas, such as middle-east;
  • type Asia 1 - Asia, with eastward spread involving China to as far as DPR of Korea in 2007;
  • type SAT 1 - 2; sub-Saharan Africa; SAT3 - southern Africa;
  • type C - possibly extinct in the wild, last case was in the rainforest of Brazil.
  1. Pandemic Pan-Asia strain of type O FMD virus, 1990 - 2001

    Spread of a strain after first detection in India (1990), to middle-east, south-east Asia, mainland China, to the Russian Federation, Mongolia, Republic of Korea, Japan and South Africa (2000); and the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and the Netherlands (2001). The strain has continued to circulate in endemic regions but by 2001 had been replaced in India by virus variant, termed "new PanAsia".

  2. Pandemic new PanAsia strain of type O

    First reported from India in 2001, thereafter spread to neighbouring countries (to east), in 2006-7 has lead to a regional pandemic involving 10 countries in the middle-east, reaching European borders in Thrace region of Turkey. In 2007 central Asia was affected (Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan).

  3. Type A Iran 05 spread in west Asia

    Severe epidemics occurred in 2005 in Iran, subsequent spread to Turkey (as far as European border), with involvement of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Pakistan.

  4. Type Asia-1, genotype II

    This type was first observed in Pakistan and spread to central Asian countries, subsequently being found in China and reaching Hong Kong in 2005. This pandemic subsequently appeared to trigger a further Asia-1 epidemic in China with involvement of Russian federation and DPR Korea.

  Comments: EMPRES-Animal Health webmaster

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