Foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks due to an exotic serotype Asia 1 virus in Myanmar in 2017

In January 2017, two villages located in Rakhine State of Myanmar reported clinical signs in cattle suggestive of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infection. Laboratory analysis identified the outbreak virus as FMDV serotype Asia 1, which represented the first detection of this serotype in Myanmar since 2005 and in the region of South-East Asia (SEA) since 2007. Genetic analysis revealed that the outbreak virus was different from historical viruses from Myanmar and was more closely related to viruses circulating in Bangladesh and India during 2012-2013, indicating a novel viral introduction had occurred. The precise origin of the outbreaks was not clear, but frequent informal livestock trade with Bangladesh was reported. Responses to the outbreaks involved disinfection, quarantine and animal movement restrictions; no further outbreaks were detected under the present passive surveillance system. Detection of serotype Asia 1 highlights the complex and dynamic nature of FMDV in SEA. Active surveillance is needed to assess the extent and distribution of this exotic Asia 1 strain and continued vigilance to timely detect the occurrence of emerging and re-emerging FMDV strains is essential.

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