Exploring Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

Exploring Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

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Foot and Mouth Disease
Synonym : Aphthous fever,Aftosa,Enzootic apthiae
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease that primarily affects cloven-hooved livestock and wildlife. Although adult animals generally recover, the morbidity rate is very high in naïve populations, and significant pain and distress occur in some species. Sequelae may include decreased milk yield, permanent hoof damage and chronic mastitis. High mortality rates can be seen in young animals. Although foot and mouth disease was once found worldwide, it has been eradicated from some regions including North America and most of Europe. Where it is endemic, this disease is a major constraint to the international livestock trade. Unless strict precautions are followed, FMD can be readily re-introduced into disease-free livestock. Once this occurs, the disease can spread rapidly through a region, particularly if detection is delayed
The foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a member of the genus Aphthovirus in the family Picornaviridae. There are seven immunologically distinct serotypes - O, A, C, SAT 1, SAT 2, SAT 3 and Asia 1 - and over 60 strains within these serotypes. New strains occasionally develop spontaneously.
FMDV serotypes and strains vary within each geographic region. Serotype O is the most common serotype worldwide. This serotype is responsible for a pan-Asian epidemic that began in 1990 and has affected many countries throughout the world. Other serotypes also cause serious outbreaks. Immunity to one serotype does not provide any cross-protection to other serotypes. Cross-protection against other strains varies with their antigenic similarity.
Important factors
• Short incubation period
• Release of virus prior to appearance of clinical signs
• Massive quantities of virus released
• Extended survival in the environment
• Multitude of routes of virus transmission
• Minimal size of the infective dose
Species Affected
FMDV can infect most or all members of the order Artiodactyla (cloven-hooved mammals), as well as a few species in other orders. Each species varies in its susceptibility to infection and clinical disease, as well as its ability to transmit the virus to other animals. Livestock susceptible to FMD include cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, water buffalo and reindeer. Llamas, alpacas and camels can be infected experimentally, but do not appear to be very susceptible. FMDV can also infect at least 70 species of wild animals including African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), bison (Bison spp.), elk, moose, chamois, giraffes, wildebeest, blackbuck, warthogs, kudu, impala, and several species of deer, antelopes and gazelles. Susceptible non cloven-hooved species include hedgehogs, armadillos, kangaroos, nutrias, capybaras, guinea pigs, rats and mice.

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Infections have been reported in African and Asian elephants in zoos; however, African elephants are not considered susceptible to FMD under natural conditions in southern Africa. Not seen in odd-toed animals such as horses, zebras or rhinos. Old World Camel is resistant to natural infection

 Aerosols/Airborne, Inhaled
 Direct or indirect contact-droplets,
 Ingestion
 Artificial Insemination
 Vectors (vehicles, equipment, or humans)
 Carrier state
 Initial replication in terminal bronchioles
 viremia - spread to stratified squamous epithelium
 Virus can be detected in most cells during viremia but vesicles or blisters form in areas of rapid cell growth and where friction occurs naturally such as in the mouth or between toes.
 24 hrs after infection, virus begins replicating
 Virus is excreted in high quantities in expired air, in all secretions including milk, and from ruptured vesicles
Clinical signs
 High temperature
 Vesicles appear on mouth
 Excessive salivation
 Rupture leaving ulcer - refuses feed and water
 Vesicles on cleft of feet leading to lameness
 Also seen in lightly haired parts (Udder and teat)
 Produces smacking noise
Gross lesions
 Vesicles on the mucosa of lips, dorsum of tongue and palate in cattle and also in coronet, udder and teat

 Foot lesions in elephants

 Lesions also seen – Rumen, reticulum and omasum
 Haemorrhage and diffuse oedema in mucosa of abomasum and small intestine
 Death may be due to gastroenteritis and myocardial lesions
 In young animals there is focal necrosis
of cardiac muscle. “Tiger heart”

Lesions in giraffe
Microscopic lesions :
 Vacuoles appear in the cells of epithelium with eosinophilic cytoplasm and pyknotic nuclei. These small vesicles coalesce to form larger ones and the epithelium gets detached
 Hyaline degeneration and necrosis of myocardial fibres and also in sketetal muscles - "Tigroid heart appearance"
 Secondary bacterial infections produces osteomyelitis and suppurative arthritis

Cytolytic replication in stratum spinosum cells, creating vesicle

Secondary Effects
• Mastitis
• Anaemia
• Disturbances in sexual function
• Diabetes
• Over growth of hair
• Cardiac cicatrices
• Panting
• Dyspnoea
• Delayed growth of young animals
• Important sequelae of FMD is infertility
 Clinical signs & lesions
 Serum neutralization test
 Complement fixation test
 Virus isolation and polymerase chain reaction
 Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
Differential Diagnosis
 Vesicular Stomatitis
 Bovine Mammilitis
 Bovine Viral Diarrhea
 Bovine Papular Stomatitis
 Mucosal Disease (foot lesions)
 Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis
 Rinderpest
 Bluetongue (foot lesions)
 Peste des Petits Ruminants
 Foot Rot
 Chemical Irritants
 Swine Vesicular Disease
 Vesicular Exanthema - swine

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