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Encyclopedia > Foot and mouth disease
Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Family: Picornaviridae
Genus: Aphthovirus
Species: Foot-and-mouth disease virus

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease, is a highly contagious but non-fatal viral disease of cattle and pigs. It can also infect deer, goats, sheep, and other animals with cloven hooves, as well as elephants, rats, and hedgehogs. Horses are not susceptible to FMD. Humans are affected only very rarely. The cause of FMD was first shown to be viral in 1897 by Friedrich Loeffler. He passed the blood of an infected animal through a fine porcelain-glass filter and found that the fluid that was collected could still cause the disease in healthy animals. Viruses can be classified in several ways, such as by their geometry, by whether they have envelopes, by the identity of the host organism they can infect, by mode of transmission, or by the type of disease they cause. ... An RNA virus is a virus that either uses RNA as its genetic material, or whose genetic material passes through an RNA intermediate during replication. ... Genera Enterovirus Rhinovirus Hepatovirus Cardiovirus Apthovirus Parechovirus Erbovirus Kobuvirus Teschovirus Picornaviruses are viruses that belong to the family Picornaviridae. ... In medicine, infectious disease or communicable disease is disease caused by a biological agent (e. ... A common alternate meaning of virus is computer virus. ... A disease is any abnormal condition of the body or mind that causes discomfort, dysfunction, or distress to the person affected or those in contact with the person. ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Rainbow arching over a paddock of cattle Cattle are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... Binomial name Sus scrofa Linnaeus, 1758 Synonyms The domestic pig is usually given the scientific name Sus scrofa, though some authors call it , reserving for the wild boar. ... Genera About 15 in 4 subfamilies. ... Species See Species and subspecies A goat is an animal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ... Binomial name Ovis aries Linnaeus, 1758 A sheep is any of several woolly ruminant quadrupeds, but most commonly the Domestic Sheep (Ovis aries), which probably descends from the wild moufflon of south-central and south-west Asia. ... Genera and Species Loxodonta Loxodonta cyclotis Loxodonta africana Elephas Elephas maximus Elephas recki (extinct) Stegodon (extinct) Deinotherium (extinct) Mammuthus (extinct) Elephantidae (the elephants) is a family of animals, the only family in the order Proboscidea which still exists today. ... Species 50 species; see text *Several subfamilies of Muroids include animals called rats. ... Genera Atelerix Erinaceus Hemiechinus Mesechinus A hedgehog is any of a wide variety of small quilled mammals of the order Insectivora found through parts of Europe, Asia, Africa, and New Zealand. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The Horse (Equus caballus) is a sizeable ungulate mammal, one of the seven modern species of the genus Equus. ... 1897 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... He was the one who discovered the cause of FMD or Foot-and-Mouth Diesease. ... Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are present in the blood and help carry oxygen to the rest of the cells in the body Blood is a circulating tissue composed of fluid plasma and cells (red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets). ...

FMD occurs throughout much of the world, including parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. While currently (July 2001) some countries, including Australia, Canada, and the United States have been free of FMD for some time, eradicated from the U.S. in 1929, its wide host range and rapid spread represent cause for international concern. There was an outbreak of FMD in Britain in 2001 which resulted in the slaughter of many animals. Many sporting events and leisure activities like Ten Tors were cancelled. (see 2001 UK foot and mouth crisis for details). World map showing location of Europe Europe is geologically and geographically a peninsula, forming the westernmost part of Eurasia. ... Africa is the worlds second-largest continent and third most populous. ... World map showing location of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of the continent of Eurasia, defined by subtracting the European peninsula from Eurasia. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... 2001: A Space Odyssey 2001 2001 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ten Tors is an annual weekend hike organised and run in early May for 2,400 young people by the British Army on Dartmoor. ... The outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom in the spring and summer of 2001 caused a crisis in British agriculture and tourism. ...

Foot-and-mouth disease, after World War II, was widely distributed throughout the world. In 1996, endemic areas were Asia, Africa, and parts of South America. In South America, Chile is free, and Uruguay and Argentina have not had an outbreak since April 1994. Most European countries have been recognized as free. Countries belonging to the European Union have stopped FMD vaccination. North and Central America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the British Isles have been free of FMD for many years.

There are seven different FMD serotypes - O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3 and Asia-1. These serotypes show some regionality, and the O serotype is most common.


In cattle, foot-and-mouth disease is characterized by high fever that declines rapidly after two or three days; blisters inside the mouth that lead to excessive secretion of stringy or foamy saliva and to drooling; and blisters on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness. Adult animals may suffer weight loss from which they do not recover for several months as well as swelling in the testicles of mature males, and in cows, milk production can decline significantly. Though most animals eventually recover from FMD, the disease can lead to myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and death, especially in newborn animals. Some infected animals remain asymptomatic, that is, they do not suffer from or show signs of the disease; but they are carriers of FMD and can transmit it to others. Hyperthermia: Characterized on the left. ... A glass of cows milk Milk most often means the nutrient fluid produced by the mammary glands of female mammals. ... In medicine (cardiology), myocarditis is inflammation of the myocardium, the muscular part of the heart. ... An asymptomatic carrier (or carrier), is a person who is infected with the agent of an infectious disease, or carries the abnormal gene of a recessive genetic disorder. ...

Infection with foot-and-mouth disease tends to occur locally, that is, the virus is passed on to susceptible animals through direct contact with infected animals or with contaminated pens or vehicles used to transport livestock. The clothes and skin of animal handlers such as farmers, standing water, and uncooked food scraps and feed supplements containing infected animal products can harbor the virus as well. Cows can also catch FMD from the semen of infected bulls. Control measures include quarantine and destruction of infected livestock, and export bans for meat and other animal products to countries not infected with the disease.

Foot-and-mouth disease is caused by an Aphthovirus of the viral family Picornaviridae. The members of this family are small (25-30 nm), nonenveloped icosahedral viruses that contain single-stranded RNA (ribonucleid acid, the viral genetic material). When such a virus comes in contact with a host cell, it binds to a receptor site and triggers a folding-in of the cell membrane. Once the virus is inside the host cell, its protein coat dissolves. New viral RNA and components of the protein coat are then synthesized in large quantities and assembled to form new viruses. After assembly, the host cell lyses (bursts) and releases the new viruses. Genera Enterovirus Rhinovirus Hepatovirus Cardiovirus Apthovirus Parechovirus Erbovirus Kobuvirus Teschovirus Picornaviruses are viruses that belong to the family Picornaviridae. ... An icosahedron [ˌaıkəsəhiːdrən] noun (plural: -drons, -dra [-drə]) is a polyhedron having 20 faces. ... Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a nucleic acid consisting of a string of covalently-bound nucleotides. ...

Humans can be infected with foot-and-mouth disease through contact with infected animals, but this is extremely rare. Because the virus that causes FMD is sensitive to stomach acid, it cannot spread to humans via consumption of infected meat. In the UK, the last confirmed human case occurred in 1967, and only a few other cases have been recorded in countries of continental Europe, Africa, and South America. Symptoms of FMD in humans include malaise, fever, vomiting, red ulcerative lesions (surface-eroding damaged spots) of the oral tissues, and sometimes vesicular lesions (small blisters) of the skin. There is another viral disease with similar symptoms, commonly referred to as “hand, foot, and mouth disease,” that occurs more frequently in humans, especially in young children; this disease is caused by a different virus of the family Picornaviridae, namely, an Enterovirus called Coxsackie A. Because FMD rarely infects humans but spreads rapidly among animals, it is a much greater threat to the agriculture industry than to human health. Farmers around the world can lose billions of dollars a year during a foot-and-mouth epidemic, when large numbers of animals are destroyed and revenues from milk and meat production go down. Continental Europe refers to the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands and peninsulae. ... Coxsackie A virus is a cytolytic virus of the Picornaviridae family, a enterovirus (a group containing the polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, and echoviruses). ...


One of the difficulties in vaccinating against FMD is the huge variation between and even within serotypes. There is no cross-protection between serotypes (meaning that a vaccine for one serotype won't protect against any others) and in addition, two strains within a given serotype may have nucelotide sequences that differ by as much as 30% for a given gene. This means that FMD vaccines must be highly specific to the strain involved. Vaccination only provides temporary immunity that lasts from months to years. Serotypes refer to a group of related microorganisms or viruses distinguished by responses to different antigens. ... In biology, Strain can be used two ways. ... Space-filling model of a section of DNA molecule Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) or deoxyribose nucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions specifying the biological development of all cellular forms of life (and many viruses). ... A bottle and a syringe containing the influenza vaccine. ... The immune system is the organ system that protects an organism from outside biological influences. ...

Currently, the OIE recognizes countries to be in one of three disease states with regards to FMD - FMD present with or without vaccination, FMD free with vaccination, and FMD free without vaccination. Countries that are designated FMD free without vaccination have the greatest access to export markets, so many developed nations, including Canada, the United States, and the UK, currently have FMD free without vaccination status. The Office International de Epizooties (OIE, World Organisation for Animal Health) is an international intergovernmental organisation founded in 1924. ...

Many early vaccines used dead samples of FMD virus to inoculate animals. However, those early vaccines sometimes caused real outbreaks. In the 1970s, scientists discovered that a vaccine could be made using only a single key protein from the virus. The task was to produce such quantities of the protein that could be used in the vaccination. On June 18, 1981, the U.S. government announced the creation of vaccine targeted against FMD, which was the world's first genetically engineered vaccine. More than two decades later, FMD is still around. A bottle and a syringe containing the influenza vaccine. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... June 18 is the 169th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (170th in leap years), with 196 days remaining. ... 1981 is a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Genetically modified organism. ...

The North American FMD Vaccine Bank is housed at the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) at Plum Island Animal Disease Center. The Center, located 1.5 miles off the coast of Long Island, NY, is the only place in the United States where scientists can conduct research and diagnostic work on highly contagious exotic animal diseases such as FMD.

For further reading

Levy, Jay A., Heinz Fraenkel-Conrat, and Robert A. Owens. "Picornaviridae." Chap. 2, section 2.2 in Virology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1994.

A Manufactured Plague: The History Of Foot-and-mouth Disease In Britain (2004, ISBN 1844070808) by Abigail Wood, a veterinary researcher at the University of Manchester.[1] The University of Manchester in Manchester, England is a university that was formed from the merger of the Victoria University of Manchester (commonly known as the University of Manchester before the merger) and UMIST (University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology) on 1 October 2004. ...

The Lab-On-Site Project has more information in Foot and Mouth Disease Virus.



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