Incursions of foot-and-mouth disease virus into Europe between 1985 and 2006

Valarcher, J F and Leforban, Y and Rweyemamu, M and Roeder, P L and Gerbier, G and Mackay, D K J and Sumption, K J and Paton, D J and Knowles, N J (2008) Incursions of foot-and-mouth disease virus into Europe between 1985 and 2006. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 55 (1). pp. 14-34.

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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the biggest threats to animal health in European countries. In the last 22 years (1985-2006), FMD has occurred 37 times in 14 European countries. Serotype 0 was most frequently involved in these outbreaks followed by A, C and Asia 1. Sometimes, epidemics were very limited and at other times, they were the cause of devastating economic losses. In most cases (22/37), the origin of the outbreaks could not be determined. For some of these outbreaks, however, routes of introduction and spread were identified through epidemiological inquiries. Moreover, in some cases, the origin of the virus was also traced by phylogenetic analysis of the partial or complete sequences of VP1 genes. Lessons learned from the outbreaks are still useful as most of the same risk factors persist. However, efforts made by FMD-free countries to help those where the disease is endemic are a valuable strategy for the reduction of the global risk. The present and the future potential sources of FMD infection need to be identified to best focus European efforts.

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