Epidemiological patterns of foot-and-mouth disease worldwide

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Transboundary and emerging diseases


Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a clinical syndrome in animals due to FMD virus that exists in seven serotypes, whereby recovery from one sero-type does not confer immunity against the other six. So when considering intervention strategies in endemic settings, it is important to take account of the characteris- tics of the different serotypes in different ecological systems. FMD serotypes are not uniformly distributed in the regions of the world where the disease still occurs. For example, the cumulative incidence of FMD serotypes show that six of the seven serotypes of FMD (O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3) have occurred in Africa, while Asia contends with four sero-types (O, A, C, Asia-1), and South America with only three (O, A, C). Periodically there have been incur- sions of Types SAT-1 and SAT-2 from Africa into the Middle East. This paper describes the global dynamics for the seven sero-types and attempts to define FMD epidemiological clusters in the different regions of the world. These have been described on a continent by continent basis. The review has reaffirmed that the movement of infected animals is the most important factor in the spread of FMD within the endemically infected regions. It also shows that the eco-system based approach for defining the epidemiolo- gical patterns of FMD in endemic, which was originally described in South America, can apply readily to other parts of the world. It is proposed that any coordinated regional or global strategy for FMD con- trol should be based on a sound epidemiological assessment of the incidence and distribution of FMD, identifying risk sources as either primary or second- ary endemic eco-systems.



Epidemiology, foot-and-mouth-disease, globalisation