Emergence of foot-and-mouth disease virus SAT 2 in Egypt during 2012

The epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in North Africa is complicated by the co-circulation of endemic FMD viruses (FMDV), as well as sporadic incursions of exotic viral strains from the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. This report describes the molecular characterization of SAT 2 FMD viruses that have caused widespread field outbreaks of FMD in Egypt during February and March 2012. Phylogenetic analysis showed that viruses from these outbreaks fell into two distinct lineages within the SAT 2 topotype VII, which were distinct from a contemporary SAT 2 lineage of the same toptype from Libya. These were the first FMD outbreaks due to this serotype in Egypt since 1950 and required the development of a tailored real-time reverse-transcription PCR assay that can be used in the laboratory to distinguish FMD viruses of these lineages from other endemic FMD viruses that might be present in North Africa. These data highlight the ease by which FMDV can cross international boundaries and emphasize the importance of deploying systems to continuously monitor the global epidemiology of this disease.

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