Multiple introductions of serotype O foot-and-mouth disease viruses into East Asia in 2010-2011

Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a highly contagious and genetically variable virus. Sporadic introductions of this virus into FMD-free countries may cause outbreaks with devastating consequences. In 2010 and 2011, incursions of the FMDV O/SEA/Mya-98 strain, normally restricted to countries in mainland Southeast Asia, caused extensive outbreaks across East Asia. In this study, 12 full genome FMDV sequences for representative samples collected from the People's Republic of China (PR China) including the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), the Republic of Korea, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia and The Russian Federation were generated and compared with additional contemporary sequences from viruses within this lineage. These complete genomes were 8119 to 8193 nucleotides in length and differed at 1181 sites, sharing a nucleotide identity >= 91.0% and an amino acid identity >= 96.6%. An unexpected deletion of 70 nucleotides within the 5'-untranslated region which resulted in a shorter predicted RNA stem-loop for the S-fragment was revealed in two sequences from PR China and Hong Kong SAR and five additional related samples from the region. Statistical parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analysis provide evidence that these outbreaks in East Asia were generated by two independent introductions of the O/SEA/Mya-98 lineage sometime between August 2008 and March 2010. The rapid emergence of these viruses from Southeast Asia highlights the importance of adopting approaches to closely monitor the spread of this lineage that now poses a threat to livestock industries in other regions.

Trim content

® The Pirbright Institute 2024 | A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 559784. The Institute is also a registered charity.