Differences in the susceptibility of dromedary and Bactrian camels to foot-and-mouth disease virus

M. Larska, U. Wernery, J. Kinne, R. Schuster, G. Alexandersen, Søren Alexandersen

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    In this study, two sheep, eight dromedary camels and two Bactrian camels were inoculated with foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) type A SAU 22/92. Five naive dromedary camels and four sheep were kept in direct or indirect contact with the inoculated camels. The inoculated sheep, which served as positive controls, displayed typical moderate clinical signs of FMD and developed viraemia and high antibody titres. The presence of the virus was also detected in probang and mouth-swab samples for several days after inoculation. In contrast, the inoculated dromedary camels were not susceptible to FMDV type A infection. None of them showed clinical signs of FMD or developed viraemia or specific anti-FMDV antibodies despite the high dose of virus inoculated. All the contact sheep and contact dromedaries that were kept together with the inoculated camels remained virus-negative and did not seroconvert when tested up to 28 days post-inoculation (p.i.). In comparison with the non-susceptible dromedaries, the two inoculated Bactrian camels showed moderate to severe clinical signs of FMD; however, the clinical signs of FMD appeared rather late, between 8 and 14 days p.i., compared to the inoculated sheep. Characteristic FMD lesions in the Bactrian camels, accompanied with severe lameness, were only observed on the hind feet. The presence of the virus in the serum samples of both Bactrian camels was detected by real-time RT-PCR in one of the animals on days 3 and 7 p.i. and in the second animal from days I to 3 p.i. and subsequently again on day 21 p.i. The Bactrian camels developed high titres of antibodies to the inoculated FMDV which appeared at 7-10 days p.i. and lasted up to 130 days p.i. Only low and transient amounts of FMDV were detected in the mouth-swab and probang samples collected from both Bactrian camels.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEpidemiology and Infection
    Issue number4
    Pages (from-to)549-554
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • camel
    • Bactrian
    • susceptibility
    • FMD virus
    • dromedary
    • FMDV
    • foot-and-mouth disease


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