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Research Project: Endemic Ecology and Molecular Epidemiology of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Asia and Africa

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 3022-32000-064-024-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2022
End Date: Jul 31, 2026

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a high-priority transboundary disease that severely impairs animal health and livestock production in many regions of the world, including much of Asia and Africa. The objective of this research project is to continue the epidemiological analyses of data generated by research projects in ARS-PIADC with the overarching goals to support surveillance capabilities of collaborators in FMD-endemic countries, including but not limited to Vietnam and Kenya. This research will also generate knowledge on the epidemiology of FMD, such as viral characterization, phylogenetics and transmission dynamics, that will ultimately help to prevent and control FMD in endemic countries, and improve FMD-preparedness in USA. Specific objectives include: 1. Design of studies to quantitatively assess the epidemiological dynamics of FMD. 2. Quantify ecological and evolutionary processes contributing to maintenance of multiple co-circulating viral lineages in endemic settings. 3. Quantify temporal dynamics of infection and persistence of FMDV within herds in relation to epidemiological factors, including season, animal movements, and proximity to reservoir populations. 4. Perform phylodynamic analyses to assess evolutionary dynamics across multiple spatial and temporal scales. 5. Contribute to building technical capacity for collaborators in endemic countries to strengthen analytical capacities in relation to FMD surveillance. 6. Conduct field sampling in Kenya of buffalo and cattle for epidemiological studies.

1. The University of Minnesota will provide epidemiological expertise to ARS-PIADC in the design of studies to collect data, and will collaborate with the analysis of data (input data) generated by ARS-PIADC projects to produce knowledge and information (output) that will help to support FMD control and prevention in endemic regions. 2. Input data to be shared with the University of Minnesota will include: a. Serological and virological test results; and b. Epidemiological information collected through studies designed in collaboration with the University of Minnesota. 3. Outputs to be provided by the University of Minnesota will include: a. Estimates of the distribution of FMD in endemic regions included in collaborative studies, and its association with epidemiological factors; b. Characterization of multi-strain dynamics of co-circulating FMDV lineages; and c. Characterizations of FMDV temporal dynamics within herds and populations in endemic regions, including: incidence and frequency of outbreaks, estimates of carrier duration/extinction, duration of antibody responses, and modeling of associated metadata. 4. Scientists from collaborating institutions in endemic countries and other individuals in the field will be trained in epidmeiolgoical aspects of FMD infection.