Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is highly contagious, infects a wide variety of domestic and wildlife hosts and occurs as seven virus serotypeswith multiple subtypes known as topotypes. Its presence reduces production and restricts trade opportunities for endemic countries and poses a constant threat to those countries free of the disease. FMD viruses are not randomly dispersed throughout the world but are associated with particular ecological niches. The distribution is affected by recurring upsurges in the prevalence of particular strains that may be associated with viral evolution, waning population immunity and/or opportunities presented by the increasing and more frequent movements of animals and their products. This can give rise to pandemic spread affecting new regions. Current global surveillance for FMD aims to identify the current hazards and to predict heightened risk so
that appropriate diagnostics and vaccines can be made available for their detection and
The World Reference Laboratory for FMD (WRLFMD®) at The Pirbright Institute, UK, is the centre of an OIE/FAO FMD Reference Laboratory Network that regularly receives samples for FMD diagnosis from many parts of the world. FMD virus isolates are identified by serotyping, vaccine matching with a range of current FMD vaccine strains and by nucleotide sequencing to provide precise characterisation of new isolates and tracing of their origin by comparison with viruses held in the extensive WRLFMD®and other collections. This analysis assists the monitoring of the ‘real time’ emergence and spread of FMD virus globally. Studies on FMD virus occurrence over many years have provided the information to suggest the clustering or grouping of FMD viruses into 7 virus pools, with 3 pools covering Europe, the Middle-East and Asia, 3 pools covering Africa and 1 pool covering the Americas.
This concept has provided the platform to enable a targeted approach to progressive FMD control at the national, regional and global level. This presentation will focus on the global FMD surveillance provided by the OIE/FAO network of FMD reference laboratories and highlight the regional differences in virus populations and current needs for diagnosis and control.
(c) Jef Hammond / EuFMD (firstname.lastname@example.org)