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Transmission of Foot-and-Mouth Disease from Persistently Infected Carrier Cattle to Naive Cattle via Transfer of Oropharyngeal Fluid

Transmission of Foot-and-Mouth Disease from Persistently Infected Carrier Cattle to Naive Cattle via Transfer of Oropharyngeal Fluid

Msphere 3(5)

ISSN/ISBN: 2379-5042

PMID: 30209130

DOI: 10.1128/msphere.00365-18

Control and eradication of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) are impeded by the existence of a persistent, subclinical phase of infection in ruminants; animals with this status are referred to as carriers. However, the epidemiological significance of these FMD virus (FMDV) carriers is uncertain. In the current investigation, the contagion associated with FMDV carrier cattle was investigated by exposure of susceptible cattle and pigs to oropharyngeal fluid (OPF) samples or tissues harvested from persistently infected cattle. Naive cattle were inoculated through intranasopharyngeal deposition of unprocessed OPF samples that had been collected from FMDV carriers at 30 days postinfection. These inoculated cattle developed clinical FMD, and the severity of disease they developed was similar to that of animals that had been infected with a high-titer inoculum. In contrast, pigs exposed via intraoropharyngeal inoculation of the same OPF samples or via ingestion of nasopharyngeal tissues harvested from the same cohort of persistently infected cattle did not develop FMD. These findings indicate that there is demonstrable contagion associated with FMDV carrier cattle despite the lack of evidence for transmission by direct contact. The findings presented herein provide novel information that should be considered for FMD risk mitigation strategies.IMPORTANCE Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease of livestock with substantial impact on agricultural production and subsistence farming on a global scale. Control of FMD is impeded by the existence of a prolonged asymptomatic carrier phase during which infected cattle shed low quantities of infectious virus in oropharyngeal fluid (OPF) for months to years after infection. The epidemiological significance of FMD virus (FMDV) carriers is unresolved. However, the existence of the FMDV carrier state has substantial impact on international trade in animal products. The current investigation demonstrated that transfer of OPF from persistently infected FMDV carrier cattle to naive cattle led to fulminant clinical FMD. It was thus demonstrated that, although the risk for disease transmission under natural conditions is considered to be low, there is detectable contagion associated with FMDV carrier cattle. This finding is important for optimization of FMD risk mitigation strategies.

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Accession: 065958105

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