Characterization of foot-and-mouth disease viruses from Ugandan cattle outbreaks during 2012-2013: Evidence for circulation of multiple serotypes.

Alice Namatovu, Kirsten Tjørnehøj, Graham Belsham, Moses T. Dhikusooka, Sabenzia Nabalayo Wekesa, Vincent B. Muwanika, Hans R. Siegismund, Chrisostom Ayebazibwe

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    To investigate the foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) serotypes circulating in Uganda’s cattle population, both serological and virological analyses of samples from outbreaks that occurred during 2012-2013 were performed. Altogether, 79 sera and 60 oropharyngeal fluid (OP)/tissue/oral swab samples were collected from herds with reported FMD outbreaks in seven different Ugandan districts. Overall, 61/79 (77%) of the cattle sera were positive for antibodies against FMDV by PrioCHECK® FMDV NS ELISA and solid phase blocking ELISA detected titres ≥ 80 for serotypes O, SAT 1, SAT 2 and SAT 3 in 41, 45, 30 and 45 of these 61 seropositive samples, respectively. Virus neutralisation tests detected the highest levels of neutralising antibodies (titres ≥ 45) against serotype O in the herds from Kween and Rakai districts, against SAT 1 in the herd from Nwoya district and against SAT 2 in the herds from Kiruhura, Isingiro and Ntungamo districts. Consistent with the detection of high levels of neutralising antibodies against SAT 2, was the isolation of a SAT 2 FMDV from Isingiro; sequencing (for the VP1 coding region) indicated that this virus belonged to lineage I within this serotype, like the currently used vaccine strain. From the Wakiso district 11 tissue/swab samples were collected; serotype A FMDV, genotype Africa (G-I), was isolated from the epithelial samples. This study shows that within a period of less than one year, FMD outbreaks in Uganda were caused by four different serotypes namely O, A, SAT 1 and SAT 2. Therefore, to enhance the control of FMD in Uganda, there is need for efficient and timely determination of outbreak virus strains/serotypes and vaccine matching. The value of incorporating serotype A antigen into the imported vaccines along with the current serotype O, SAT 1 and SAT 2 strains should be considered.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number e011481
    JournalP L o S One
    Issue number2
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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