FMD virus

Foot and Mouth Disease

Aphtae epizooticae

History & Significance
Symptoms & Pathogenesis
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Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a medically and economically important disease around the world. Contagiousness and its impact on an agricultural economy are of great concern to veterinarians.
 This website has two purposes:

1.  To provide students with a comprehensive website on FMD which includes information from recent research, up to date OIE and CFIA protocols and standards, and news on FMD in the world today. The website will serve as a resource for students who would like to gain further information on FMD and how the disease impacts the world today.

2.  To act as a study guide to hone virology skills - so don't forget to check out the Quick Quiz!



•    Aphtae epizooticae is a non-enveloped, positive-stranded RNA Aphtovirus of the family Picornaviridae.
•    Picornaviruses are among the most diverse and 'oldest' known viruses. There are records from Egyptian temples dating back to 1400 B.C.
photo9•    The name ‘Picornaviridae’ is derived from ‘pico’ (very small), and ‘RNA’ because its genome is composed of ribonucleic acids, so it translates as 'small RNA virus'.
•    There are seven FMD virus serotypes: O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3, and Asia-1. These serotypes show some regionality, and the O serotype is most common.

<--  O Serotype distrubution throughout the world

•    Affected species include cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, swine, and all wild ruminants. Camels, llamas and vicunas have low susceptibility and horses may be carriers but do not become sick.
•    Despite being non-lethal to humans, the virus poses a significant economic threat to affected countries. FMD virus has the ability to infect in small doses, has a rapid rate of replication, a high level of viral excretion and multiple modes of transmission.
•    In Canada it is a reportable disease. Once reported, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency requires that “positive animals are targeted to be euthanized within 24 hours and other exposed susceptible animals within 48 hours. In most circumstances unexposed susceptible animals on a positive FMD infected place will be slaughtered.”

•    Clinically, FMD can be confused with several diseases, such as vesicular stomatitis, bluetongue, bovine viral diarrhea, foot rot in cattle, and swine vesicular disease. A definitive diagnosis can only be achieved through laboratory testing.
•    The whole of replication occurs within the host cell cytoplasm and infection can even happen in cells that do not contain a nucleus, making the virus resistant to drugs which inhibit nuclear DNA synthesis.

FMD Quick Quiz

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Created September 2010
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