Foot and Mouth Disease

 

Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.

Intensively reared animals are more susceptible to the disease than traditional breeds. The disease is rarely fatal in adult animals, but there is often high mortality in young animals due to myocarditis or, when the dam is infected by the disease, lack of milk.

FMD is characterised by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves. The disease causes severe production losses, and while the majority of affected animals recover, the disease often leaves them weakened and debilitated.

The organism which causes FMD is an aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. There are seven strains (A, O, C, SAT1, SAT2, SAT3, and Asia1) which are endemic in different countries worldwide. Each strain requires a specific vaccine to provide immunity to a vaccinated animal.

All seven of the serotypes have also been found in wildlife, although the latter does not play a significant role in the maintenance of the disease1. To date, the only confirmed reservoir in wildlife is African buffalo Syncerus caffer).

FMD is an OIE-listed disease and must be reported to the Organisation, as indicated in the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code.

It was the first disease for which the OIE established official status recognition. Member Countries can also apply for official endorsement of their national control programmes.

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Technical Disease Card

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