FMD Vaccination Campaign and Efficiency Study in Xiengkhoung, Laos (2012)

Background
OIE/JTF Project on FMD Control in Asia supports and coordinates FMD vaccination campaign and efficiency study in Xiengkhoung province of Laos during November 2012 - February 2013 in response to the request and proposal from Department of Livestock and Fisheries of Laos.

Xiengkhoung province is considered by SEACFMD experts as a FMD hotspot area in upper Mekong control zone located in the north-east of Lao PDR, due to its high density of cattle and buffalo population and being an important location for the transit of livestock on the trade route into neighboring countries, Vietnam in particular. Despite its strategically importance for FMD control, Xiengkhoung had not been supported for FMD vaccination by other projects of organizations. Vaccination under this Project was the first vaccination campaign for this province.

Implementation
200,000 doses of high potent FMD type O-Manisa, 6PD50, were contributed by MAFF (Japan) shortly after expiry date, to be implemented in selected villages in 8 districts of Xiengkhoung which covered more than 80% of the population. Before vaccination campaign, the refresh training for provincial and district staffs, and FMD public awareness campaign for villagers were conducted. During the vaccination, animals were ear-tagged, registered, and health-checked by local veterinary team.  

In addition, efficiency study of the vaccine was carried out with technical support from NIAH (Japan). Blood samples were collected before vaccination and one month after the first and second vaccinations (one month interval between the 1st and 2nd shots). The samples were analyzed for titers by Liquid Phase Blocking ELISA (LPB-ELISA) in national laboratory in Vientaine, and for NSP by NIAH in Japan. 

Results
The laboratory results showed that vaccinated animals acquired high titer after vaccination and reach protective levels, and the high titer was detected up to at 6 months after the second shot. However, majority of non-clinical animals were tested NSP positive and had to be excluded from the study.  

Conclusion
This vaccination campaign was the first one in in Xiengkhuang and went very successfully. Livestock owners were aware of FMD, willing to bring their animals for vaccination and well accepted animal identification by eartagging. Laboratory analysis also showed that vaccinated animal acquired high titer against FMDV type O, indicating that after expire date the vaccine was still effective, cold chain and application of vaccine were conducted appropriately.   However, NSP testing in NAIH, Japan also show high percentage of FMD infected animals. These results indicated that Xiengkuang is highly endemic area; animals in this area should be routinely vaccinated against FMD to prevent the outbreak.  Moreover, livestock production in a major agriculture production in Xiengkuang, which provides animal products to other provinces and neighboring country. Therefore prevention of FMD in this province is crucial to prevent FMD in a hot spot in South East Asia.

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