Antigenic and genetic comparison of foot-and-mouth disease virus serotype O Indian vaccine strain, O/IND/R2/75 against currently circulating viruses

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus serotype O is the most common cause of FMD outbreaks in India and three of the six lineages that have been described are most frequently detected, namely Ind2001, PanAsia and PanAsia 2. We report the full capsid sequence of 21 serotype O viruses isolated from India between 2002 and 2012. All these viruses belong to the Middle East–South Asia (ME–SA) topotype. The serological cross-reactivity of a bovine post-vaccination serum pool raised against the current Indian vaccine strain, O/IND/R2/75,was tested by virus neutralisation test with the 23 Indian field isolates, revealing a good match between the vaccine and the field isolates. The cross reactivity of the O/IND/R2/75 vaccine with 19 field isolates from other countries (mainly from Asia and Africa) revealed a good match to 79% of the viruses indicating that the vaccine strain is broadly cross-reactive and could be used to control FMD in other countries. Comparison of the capsid sequences of the serologically non-matching isolates with the vaccine strain sequence identified substitutions in neutralising antigenic sites 1 and 2, which could explain the observed serological differences

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