The pathogenesis of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) in cattle was investigated through early and late stages of infection by use of an optimized experimental model for controlled contact exposure. Time-limited exposure of cattle to FMDV-infected pigs led to primary FMDV infection of the nasopharyngeal mucosa in both vaccinated and nonvaccinated cattle. In nonvaccinated cattle, the infection generalized rapidly to cause clinical disease, without apparent virus amplification in the lungs prior to establishment of viremia. Vaccinated cattle were protected against clinical disease and viremia; however, all vaccinated cattle were subclinically infected, and persistent infection occurred at similarly high prevalences in both animal cohorts. Infection dynamics in cattle were consistent and synchronous and comparable to those of simulated natural and needle inoculation systems. However, the current experimental model utilizes a natural route of virus exposure and is therefore superior for investigations of disease pathogenesis and host response. Deep sequencing of viruses obtained during early infection of pigs and cattle indicated that virus populations sampled from sites of primary infection were markedly more diverse than viruses from vesicular lesions of cattle, suggesting the occurrence of substantial bottlenecks associated with vesicle formation. These data expand previous knowledge of FMDV pathogenesis in cattle and provide novel insights for validation of inoculation models of bovine FMD studies.
- Foot-and-mouth disease
- Foot-and-mouth disease virus