Here, we report the results of a cross-sectional study designed to monitor the circulation and genetic diversity of foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) in Uganda between 2014 and 2017. In this study, 13,614 sera and 2,068 oral-pharyngeal fluid samples were collected from cattle and analysed to determine FMDV seroprevalence, circulating serotypes and their phylogenetic relationships. Circulation of FMDV was evidenced by the detection of antibodies against non-structural proteins of FMDV or viral isolations in all districts sampled in Uganda. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of FMDV serotypes A, O, SAT 1 and SAT 2. FMDVs belonging to serotype O, isolated from 21 districts, were the most prevalent and were classified into six lineages within two East African topotypes, namely EA-1 and EA-2. Serotype A viruses belonging to the Africa G-I topotype were isolated from two districts. SAT 1 viruses grouped within topotypes I and IV and SAT 2 viruses within topotypes VII, IV and X were isolated from six and four districts respectively. Phylogenetic analysis of SAT 1 and SAT 2 sequences from cattle clustered with historical sequences from African buffalo, indicating possible interspecies transmission at the wildlife-livestock interface. In some cases, Uganda viruses also shared similarities to viral strains recovered from other regions in East Africa. This 3-year study period provides knowledge about the geographical distribution of FMDV serotypes isolated in Uganda and insights into the genetic diversity of the multiple serotypes circulating in the country. Knowledge of circulating FMDV viruses will assist in antigenic matching studies to devise improved FMDV control strategies with vaccination and vaccine strain selection for Uganda.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank all veterinary and animal husbandry officers for their assistance from the districts in Uganda where samples were collected. The study was funded by the Cooperative Biological Engagement Program of the U.S. Department of Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (Agreement #8802). Additional support was provided by the Agricultural Research Service- USDA, CRIS project 1940-32000-061-00D. AM is funded by USDA Grant 2016-38420-25288.
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- foot and mouth disease
- molecular epidemiology