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Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Support the Global Control and Eradication of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV)

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

Title: The carrier conundrum; a review of recent advances and persistent gaps regarding the carrier state of foot-and-mouth disease virus

item Arzt, Jonathan
item STENFELDT, CAROLINA - University Of Kansas

Submitted to: Pathogens
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/25/2020
Publication Date: 2/28/2020
Citation: Arzt, J., Stenfeldt, C. 2020. The carrier conundrum; a review of recent advances and persistent gaps regarding the carrier state of foot-and-mouth disease virus. Pathogens.

Interpretive Summary: Cattle that become infected with foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) may develop a long-term, unapparent condition known as the FMDV carrier state. The FMDV carrier state is problematic as the virus can be detected in samples from the infected animals, even if these animals seem to not transmit disease to other animals. A lot of research has been carried out to understand the FMDV carrier state, but there are still many unknown factors. This review paper summarizes the current knowledge related to the FMDV carrier state and identifies areas of research that are in need of further attention. This review is important to US agriculture interests as a potential incursion of FMDV into the US would have catastrophic impacts on US livestock industries with far-reaching financial implications.

Technical Abstract: The existence of a prolonged, subclinical phase of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infection in cattle was first recognized in the 1950s. Since then, the FMDV carrier state has been a subject of controversy amongst scientists and policy-makers. A fundamental conundrum remains in the discordance between the detection of infectious FMDV in carriers despite the apparent lack of contagiousness to in-contact animals. Although substantial progress has been made in elucidating the causal mechanisms of persistent FMDV infection, there are still critical knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in order to elucidate, predict, prevent, and model the risks associated with the carrier state. This is further complicated by the occurrence of a distinct form of neoteric subclinical infection, which is indistinguishable from the carrier state in field scenarios, but may have substantially different epidemiological properties. This review summarizes the current state of knowledge of the FMDV carrier state and identifies specific areas of research in need of further attention. Findings from experimental investigations of FMDV pathogenesis are discussed in relation to experience gained from field studies of FMD.