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Foot & Mouth Disease

It is an infectious viral disease of cloven footed animals characterized by high fever and vesicle formation in oral cavity and on feet and teats. This disease is known throughout the world due to economic loses. In terms of economic loses it is one of the most important diseases of livestock by drastic fall in meat and milk production. Death in adult animal is rare; more in young animals and affected females become infertile for long periods. Pure exotic breeds and cross bred animals that have been recovered from FMD start panting and become useless for farmers in case of transport or other work. After recovery the production of animal decreases.


 

Type A, type C, type Asia 1, and type O of virus have been identified in Pakistan. The antigenic difference among various types and sub types is the main problem in the control of the disease. So regular typing and sub typing of virus should be done and field strains should be added into vaccine. Mostly cattle and exotic breeds are susceptible. Mouth lesions are more severe in cattle and foot lesions are more severe in buffalo.  

Some Factors due to Which FMD is not Controlled in Pakistan:

  • In Pakistan numerous natural and socio-economic problems made the control of FMD very difficult.

  • Occurrence of different serotypes, subtypes and frequent mutation is one of the major problems in control of FMD. Apart from 7 serotypes there are several subtypes that are ontogenetically and immunologically different and do not provide cross protection. About 80-88 subtypes have been identified.

  • New antigenic subtypes are constantly emerging. Animals which are immune against one subtype remain susceptible to the emerging subtype.

  • Quality of vaccine: in our area trivalent (A, O, Asia 1) vaccine is given having three serotypes but most of the times FMD contains newly emerging strains which lead to failure of vaccine.

  • Lack of comprehensive vaccination program.

  • FMD virus is quite resistant even to commonly used disinfectants.

  • There is lack of quarantine measures in case of entry and exit of animal at farm.

  • Nomadic animals move from one geographical area to another area carrying infection.

  • Some non susceptible animals like birds, dogs, and cats are potential source of spread. Virus passes unchanged from GIT of birds so birds play important role in dissemination of virus from one area to another. Similarly dogs and cats fed on animals died of FMD also become the source of spread.

  • About 50 % of recovered animals act as FMD carriers. So it is more beneficial to keep recovered animals separate from healthy animals.

  • Lack of communication between farmers and veterinarian.

  • Non certification of freedom from disease before introducing them to the farm.

  • Nosocomial spread (from hospital, veterinarian and para veterinary staff) by syringes, crush, thermometer etc.

  • Common grazing and watering and common and not properly disinfected utensils.

  • Socio economic factor: farmers cannot afford the vaccination

  • Farming with multiple animal species.

  • Lack of effective reporting system.

Etiological Agent:
Picornaviridae, genus Aphthovirus. There are 7 types A, O, E, Asia l, SAT 1, SAT 2, and SAT 3.

One of the important characteristic of FMD is that the virus is produced in large amount in infected animal and present in all secretions and excretions of animals including urine, feaces, and exhaled air; that is why it is contagious disease. Virus is also present in the products from infected animals e.g. meat, milk, hides etc.

Transmission:

  • Direct contact with effected animals

  • Movement of contaminated animal products

  • Through artificial insemination

  • Contaminated feed and water

  • Spread through wind

Clinical Signs:

  • High rise in body temperature that generally do not respond to antibiotics

  • Heavy stringy salivation

  • Occurrence of vesicles and ulcers in the mouth, on feet and teats

  •  Reduction in feed intake and milk production

  • Teat infection may lead to mastitis

  • Lameness due to lesions on feet

  • High death rate in young animals

  • Deformities in hooves

  • 50 % weight loss

Diagnosis:
Laboratory diagnosis of FMD is made by the demonstration of FMD viral antigen in samples of tissue or body fluids. Detection of a specific antibody can also be used for the diagnosis, but this requires an absence of any history of vaccination, as it is not always possible to differentiate a serological response to natural infection from that of vaccination. Diagnosis based on serological response may also be problematic in endemic areas due to possibility of previous infection and carriers. At the OIE/FAO World Reference Laboratory for FMD, preferred procedure for the detection of FMD viral antigen and identification of viral serotype is ELISA. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can be used in diagnosis of FMD.

Treatment:

  • As it is a viral infection so no specific treatment but purpose is to shorten the disease.

  • Isolate the sick animal with separate feeding and watering utensils.

  • Wash the mouth of animal with 2 % alum solution or 1:1000 dilution of potassium per magnate.

  • Ointment for vesicle (Smear on vesicle (mouth) three times a day):

  • Alum: 1 tea spoon

  • Potassium chlorate: 1 tea spoon                          

  • Boric acid: 1 tea spoon

  • Xylocain injection with 2 % adrenalin: 15 ml

  • Antibiotics - Tribrissen 20ml intramuscularly for four days in adult buffalo and cattle

  • Dipyrone (antipyretic) 25 ml (intramuscularly). Cold water therapy for fever

  • 2 % solution of CuSO4, wash feet lesions and then smear with piodine or tincture iodine

  • Multivitamins  15 ml (intramuscularly)

  • Soft diet (leafy) should be given

  • Protect lesion from flies to avoid maggots because maggots can produce in lesions

  • Ethnoveterinary practices:

  • Hot bread (roti) with butter is offered which will rupture the vesicles.

  • Walk on hot sand or floor.

  • Water from tanneries my be applied on vesicles. It will dry the vesicles.

Vaccination:
Vaccinate animals twice a year.

 

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