In areas where foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in wildlife hosts, such as the Kruger National Park (KNP) in South Africa, control measures are in place that ensure that potentially infected antelope and buffalo do not come into close contact with domestic animals. In South Africa several SAT-1 outbreaks occurred nearly simultaneously in cattle and impala between 1971–1981. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial 1D gene nucleotide sequencing indicated that several of these outbreaks were linked and it is probable that disease spread from the intermediary impala antelope host to cattle in close proximity. Evidence was found for the involvement of viruses from a single KNP genotype in precipitating outbreaks in impala over a 10-year period. In addition, several unrelated outbreaks affecting cattle and impala occurred within a single year. Characterisation of outbreak strains from Botswana similarly revealed that a single genotype affected different species over a 10-year period and that transboundary spread of SAT-1 virus occurred on at least one occasion. This retrospective analysis of outbreak strains has clearly demonstrated that FMD control policies that address the role of antelope as intermediaries in disease transmission are crucial as these wildlife species play an important role in disease dissemination.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2006
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