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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orient Point, New York » Plum Island Animal Disease Center » Foreign Animal Disease Research » Research » Research Project #421550


Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

2012 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
This collaborative research project between ARS, PIADC and Makerere University in Uganda seeks to examine the genetic composition and antigenic relationship of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) in the FMD endemic region of Africa. Viral characterization of the serotypes currently circulating in the region will be conducted in order to perform effective vaccine matching.

1b. Approach (from AD-416):
To characterize Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) isolates, samples will be collected and titrated using serotype-specific solid phase blocking enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAs) and by virus neutralization assays (VNTs). The vaccine matching approach will include the genetical characterization of the isolated viruses followed by determining antigenic relatedness of the viruses to known or putative new vaccine strains used in Uganda. Genetic diversity of the isolates will be determined by nucleotide sequencing of the capsid-coding region of FMDV. The outer capsid-coding sequence of FMDV will allow the prediction of antigenic relatedness to known or potential new vaccine strains and also the verification of serotypes. Serological antigenic matching tests will be carried out for the isolates against putative and known vaccine strains. Antisera will be prepared against putative vaccine strains. Where appropriate, currently used vaccine strains will be included in the test. In addition effort will be placed in developing capacity of performing VNT’s at Makerere University. Molecular and biochemical approaches like this are needed to address some of the limitations in the performance of current vaccines, in particular to their coverage. The implementation of these methodologies should contribute to the progressive global control and eradication of this devastating disease.

3. Progress Report:
Outbreaks of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) occur annually in Uganda, whose control methods rely primarily on vaccination. There are major gaps of the epidemiology of FMD and there is a need to improve surveillance, detection and to characterize the viral strains in order to perform vaccine matching. This collaboration seeks to identify the genetic composition of FMDV sequences and determine the antigenic relationship to reference FMDV strains for use in an eradication program in Uganda. During FY 2012 field activities were conducted and FMD suspect samples from outbreak areas were collected and stored. These included sera, probang/swabs and tissue samples which will be analyzed in the upcoming months. These samples were less than the predicted output, presumably due to underreporting of FMD outbreaks by district veterinary personnel. Laboratory consumables and materials have been procured including FMD collection materials, liquid nitrogen tanks, GPS, pipettes, plastic wear and reagents. 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.

4. Accomplishments