avian & livestock assay data sheet
Foot and mouth disease
- Ultrasensitive detection of foot and mouth disease virus by
reverse transcription coupled real time PCR
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is caused by a virus that resides in
the lymph nodes and bone marrow of infected animals. The virus is an
aphthovirus belonging to the
Seven immunologically distinct serotypes have been described: A,
O, C, Asia 1, and SAT (Southern African Territories) 1, 2, and
3. Within each serotype, there are a large number of strains
that exhibit a spectrum of antigenic characteristics. More than
one vaccine strain for each serotype, particularly O and A, is
thus required to cover the antigenic diversity.
Infected animals will develop fever and vesicles in the mouth
and on the muzzle, teats, and feet. In a susceptible population,
morbidity approaches 100%. Although infected animals can often
recover, young animals can die.
Ruminants and pigs are the two major natural hosts of
food-and-mouth disease (FMD) viruses.
There are more than seventy mammalian species that are
susceptible to this viral infection either under natural or
Only reptiles, amphibians, and fishes are naturally
resistant to infection.
Domestic birds (chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks and geese)
can be infected with some strains of FMD viruses by experimental
inoculation and may develop lesions suggestive of FMD such as
vesicular lesions on the comb, wattles, eye lids, and feet.
Chickens can get infected by ingestion of virus under
conditions of natural exposure. Domestic birds kept in free-run
systems thus may serve as vectors to pass the virus to other
nearby birds. Free-living birds, especially starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), seagulls (Larus
canus) and house sparrows (Passer
domesticus), have been experimentally infected and developed
vesicular lesions on the skin and mucosal membranes of the
migrating birds may serve as vectors to carry the virus to
The virus can survive in contaminated fodder (dry hay and other
forages) for up to one month. It can also be carried many miles
away by the wind. Thus the disease is highly communicable and an
infected herd can have a devastating effect on neighboring farms
Although virus isolation and serology testing have been used to
diagnose the infection, molecular detection by polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) is often used because of its high specificity and
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Identify foot and mouth disease carriers
Screen research materials for the presence of foot and mouth
Help ensure that animal groups are free of foot and mouth
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from
Longjam, N., Deb, R., Sarmah, A. K., Tayo, T.,
Awachat,V. B. and Saxena, V.K. (2011) A Brief Review
on Diagnosis of Foot-and-Mouth Disease of Livestock:
Conventional to Molecular Tools. Vet. Med.
Int. 2011: 905768.
Specimen requirements: Lesion swab, or
nasal swab, or 0.2 ml cell culture, or 0.2
ml whole blood in EDTA (purple top) tube,
or 0.2 ml tissue.
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or
during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped
and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping
requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped
so as to remain frozen in transit. See
shipping instructions for
Turnaround time: 2 business days
Methodology: Qualitative reverse
transcription coupled real time PCR
Normal range: Nondetected