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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Research Project: Molecular Epidemiology and Pathogenesis Studies of Emerging Foot-and-Mouth Disease Strains in Vietnam

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

2012 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
This research project seeks to investigate the molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of emerging strains of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) in Vietnam. Specific objectives include: 1. Increase the understanding of viral ecology of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in Vietnam, specifically on the role of Asian buffalo on FMDV transmission in Vietnam. 2. Provide expertise on field epidemiology of FMD to help coordinate on-going collaborative research projects with the Department of Animal Health, Vietnam.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1. ARS, PIADC will provide MSU collaborators training in FMD epidemiology and diagnostics. 2. In collaboration with scientists from the National Center for Veterinary Diagnostics, Vietnam, MSU collaborators will travel to Vietnam to facilitate field sampling and characterize the molecular epidemiology (phylogenetics) of FMDV strains circulating in Vietnam. Studies will be conducted on the role of persistently infected ruminants, specifically buffalo, in FMDV ecology. Standard operating procedures will be established to quantitate the risk associated with animal movement in and out of FMD outbreak areas.


3.Progress Report:

Vietnam is a country where Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) virus is endemic in the livestock population and targeted vaccination of susceptible animals is practiced. It is known that animals that recover from FMD infection can develop a prolonged, persistent infection with the FMDV, potentially serving as a continued source of new infections in susceptible populations. Little is known about the role of persistently infected animals, especially the role of buffalo, in maintenance and transmission of the FMDV virus within susceptible populations. This study seeks to investigate the role of persistently infected ruminants in the ecology of FMDV under natural conditions in Vietnam through collaborative efforts with ARS, PIADC and the National Center for Veterinary Diagnostics (NCVD), Vietnam. During FY 2012, the investigator traveled to Vietnam to facilitate various scientific and administrative aspects of the collaboration. In addition, assistance was provided with study design and implementation as well as to participate in sample collection on farms. Educational materials for livestock producers and for veterinarians were produced and training was delivered to staff on on-farm biosecurity, and lectures were provided to laboratory and epidemiology staff at Regional Animal Health Office 6 on basic epidemiology, outbreak investigations, and the economic aspects of disease control. Handouts in Vietnamese were also created on biosecurity for livestock farmers and veterinarians/paraveterinarians. Travel to Vietnam was preceeded by intensive training in FMD ecology and diagnostics at ARS, PIADC to became familiar with basic laboratory procedures, personnel, and subject matter experts integral to the study of FMD in livestock populations. This allowed the investigator to assist in troubleshooting any laboratory protocol issues and to serve as a facilitator for subsequent project-related discussions. The major accomplishments as described above will have an impact towards the understanding of FMDV in cattle and Asian buffalo. This is the first known attempt to document transmission of the virus by persistently infected buffalo and cattle to naïve animals. Another major area of progress has been the strengthening of the collaborative relationship of the USDA ARS with the central government of Vietnam, including the national, provincial and local animal health officials. Meeting with the officials has been invaluable to understanding both social and political aspects of disease control in Vietnam. Educational exchanges and information sharing between countries can strengthen and broaden knowledge, which is crucial to the prevention and control of emerging and transboundary diseases. No new technologies have been produced or transferred to date from this ongoing work. No peer-reviewed publications have been produced to date from this ongoing work.


Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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