Molecular survey for foot-and-mouth disease virus in livestock in Tanzania, 2008-2013

Phylogeography data are of paramount importance in studying the molecular epidemiology dynamics of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). In this study, epithelial samples and oesophageal-pharyngeal fluids were collected from 361 convalescent animals (cattle and buffaloes) in the field throughout Tanzania between 2009 and 2013. The single plex real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) assay for rapid and accurate diagnosis of FMDV employing the Callahan 3DF-2, 3DF-R primers and Callahan 3DP-1 probe were used. Preparation of the samples was performed according to the OIE manual, with a Kenya O serotype obtained from the attenuated vaccine serving as a positive control and samples collected from healthy animals serving as true negatives. The results indicated that 53.49% of samples (n = 176) were positive for FMDV genome by qRT-PCR, with Ct values ranging from 14 to 32. In addition, molecular typing of the FMDV genome positive samples using serotype specific primers revealed the existence of several serotypes: serotype South Africa Territory 1 (SAT1) (34.25%, n = 60), serotype A (68.92%, n = 98), serotype O (59.20%, n = 98) and SAT2 (54.54%, n = 96). The virus protein 1 sequences analysis for 35 samples was performed and the collective results indicated: 54.28% serotype O, 25.71% serotype A, 14.28% serotype SAT1 and 2.85% serotype SAT2. Therefore in this study, both the phylogenetic trees and spatial distribution of serotypes elucidated the phylodynamics of multiple FMDV field strains in Tanzania and neighbouring countries.

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