The evolution and phylodynamics of serotype A and SAT2 foot-and-mouth disease viruses in endemic regions of Africa

Samantha Lycett, V. N. Tanya, Matthew Hall, Stella Mazeri, V Mioulet, Nick J. Knowles, K Bachanek-Bankowska, Victor Ngu Ngwa, Kenton L Morgan, Mark Bronsvoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a major livestock disease with direct clinical impacts as well as indirect trade implications. Control through vaccination and stamping-out has successfully reduced or eradicated the disease from Europe and large parts of South America. However, sub-Saharan Africa remains endemically affected with 5/7 serotypes currently known to be circulating across the continent. This has significant implications both locally for livestock production and poverty reduction but also globally as it represents a major reservoir of viruses, which could spark new epidemics in disease free countries or vaccination zones. This paper describes the phylodynamics of serotypes A and SAT2 in Africa including recent isolates from Cameroon in Central Africa. We estimate the dates of the most recent common ancestors for each serotype in different pools and highlight the rapid spread of SAT2 topotype-VII across Africa and the potential for exchange between the suggested viral pools. We note the apparent different epidemiological patterns between these two serotypes, and highlight the lack of detailed sequence data available for Africa, which seriously limits our understanding of FMD epidemiology across the continent. A comprehensive view of the evolutionary history and dynamics of FMD viruses is essential to understand many basic epidemiological aspects of FMD in Africa such as the scale of persistence and the role of wildlife and thus the opportunities and scale at which vaccination and other controls could be applied. Finally we ask endemic countries to join the OIE/FAO supported regional networks and take advantage of new cheap technologies being rolled out to collect isolates and submit them to the World Reference Laboratory.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5614
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019


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