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Foot and Mouth Disease in Nigeria- The Current Status and Control Efforts

  • University of Ilorin, Kwara State Nigeria
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 4(2) May’14
Foot and Mouth Disease in Nigeria- The Current Status and Control Efforts
Olabode, H.O.K1,2*., Kazeem, H. M2., Raji, M.A2., and Ibrahim, N.D.G2
1Department of Veterinary Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Abuja
2Department of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine,
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
*Corresponding author:
Feb 05, 2014 23:14
Accept Date:
May 14, 2014 21:24
Foot and mouth disease (FMD), is a highly contagious viral trans-boundary disease of both domestic and
wild cloven hoofed animals characterized by high morbidity and decreased livestock productivity, while
affected countries are being excluded from international animal trade. The first Nigerian reported and
typed outbreak was in the early '50s amongst herds from the North-East with subsequent reports around
the country. These reports confirm endemicity of FMD with serious economic losses due to serotypes A
and SAT 2 outbreaks. In an update of FMD by Nwanta and Ojemiren in 1999, serotypes A, O, SAT 1 and
SAT 2 were reported as been responsible for disease outbreaks in Northern Nigeria. Antibodies to SAT1
and SAT2 serotypes have also been demonstrated, while Knowles and his colleagues in 2008 reported
serotype O and SAT2 from outbreaks. These findings updated the information on the FMD World
Reference laboratory, (Pirbright, UK) data base which stated that serotypes O, A, SAT1 and SAT2 have
been circulating in Nigeria in the last 54 years (1955-2009). Early detection is essential for effective
control and requires rapid, sensitive method of viral serotype diagnosis that is responsible for the
outbreak and selection of an appropriate emergency vaccine which is currently unavailable in Nigeria.
This challenge forced the local herdsmen to seek for self-help medication (herbs) and a few seek the
expertise of Veterinary personnel while others practice the concept called “Dashse” characterized by
guarded prognosis due to absence of cross immunity amongst serotypes. Fostered collaboration with
development partners as well as neighboring affected countries in areas of control is thus suggested.
Key words: Foot and mouth disease, status, control efforts, Nigeria
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) also known as ‘aphthous fever’ or ‘infectious aphthous stomatitis’ is a
highly contagious viral transboundary disease of both domestic and wild cloven hoofed animals (Di
Nardo et al., 2011), characterized by the formation of vesicles in the buccal and gastrointestinal tract
(rumen) mucosa, skin, especially between and above the claws of the feet, teats and udder (Kitching,
2002). Mortality is usually low, the disease decreases livestock productivity and participation in
international trade of animals and animal products (Domingo et al., 2002). FMD virus (FMDV) consist of
a single-stranded, positive-sense RNA genome of approximately 8,500 bases, belonging to the Family
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 4(2) May’14
Picornaviridae encoded as a large polyprotein, that is cleaved into the structural proteins and
nonstructural proteins (Shao et al., 2010). There are 7 (seven) distinct serotypes which include Type A, O,
C (European types), South African types (SAT1, SAT2, SAT3) and Asiatic Type. Within the serotypes,
many strains can be identified by biochemical and immunological tests (OIE, 2008). The cumulative
incidence of FMD serotypes showed that six of the seven serotypes of FMD (O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2,
SAT-3) have occurred in Africa, while Asia still contends with four sero-types (O, A, C, Asia-1), South
America with only three (O, A, C) and periodically there have been incursions of SAT-1 and SAT-2 from
Africa into the Middle East (Rweyemamu et al, 2008). Rapid and sensitive method of diagnosis is
essential for early detection and effective control. In addition to the classical techniques of viral isolation
in tissue culture and antigen detection by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), RT-PCR has
become established as a reliable, fast and sensitive method of early diagnosis (Kitching, 1992) and
serotype identification of FMD outbreak for selection of an appropriate emergency vaccine.
History of Foot and Mouth Disease in Nigeria
The earliest recorded history of FMD in Nigeria dated back to 1924 when the colonial government was
setting up the Nigeria’s embryonic veterinary service (Anon, 1925). Before that period, FMD probably
existed in Nigeria but was not documented. FMD was detected and diagnosed clinically among trade
cattle in Borno Province in 1929 (Anon, 1929). Subsequently, the disease spread widely throughout the
country amongst trade cattle along several trade routes in northern-Nigeria with little or no control
measure being instituted (Anon, 1943). This resulted in sporadic outbreaks in young stocks especially
during the dry season in the forties, (1946, 1947 and 1948) (Abegunde, 1987). In 1957, outbreak reports
revealed serotype O was introduced by trade cattle from highland of Mambilla Plateau from the
Cameroon spreading the disease to the Benue province (Anon, 1959). In 1960, the disease maintained
mild epizootic status in the north eastern part of the country amongst trade cattle spreading along cattle
routes with serotype A causing the outbreaks and the introduction of SAT 2 from animals from Chad
which was subsequently isolated from severe outbreaks in the region. Review of FMD situation in Africa
reported outbreaks in Northern Nigeria and none in the Eastern and Western parts of the country (Libeau,
1960). During the early-mid sixties, as the collection and dispatch of field samples to World Reference
Laboratory, Pirbright improved, outbreak viral isolation indicated serotype A in Adamawa Province,
serotype O in Bauchi Province, SAT1 in Bauchi, Borno, and Zaria Provinces while SAT2 was isolated in
Zaria Province (Anon, 1965). Reviews of FMD outbreaks in Nigeria (Owolodun, 1971; Anon, 1975;
Nwathe and Goni, 1976 and Asagba, 1982) documented that little information was available on FMD in
Nigeria. These reviews tend to indicate that FMD virus distribution and outbreak occurrence was limited
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 4(2) May’14
to the Northern states of the country amongst trade cattle moving down south. However, in the early-mid
70’s, investigations revealed outbreaks in the Western (Anon, 1974) and South-Eastern Nigeria with
Serotype A and SAT 2 documented to be active in the outbreaks (Nawathe and Goni, 1976; Durojaiye,
1981). Questionnaire update confirmed serotype O, SAT1 and SAT2 while serological survey using Virus
infection antigens (VIA) and 146S whole virion antigen and indirect ELISA revealed overall incidence
and prevalence of 9.8% and 55% respectively (Abegunde, 1987). Update status of FMD by Nwanta and
Ojemiren, (1999), indicated serotypes A, O, SAT 1 and SAT 2 have been responsible for disease
outbreaks in Northern Nigeria. Chuwuedo et al., (2008) demonstrated antibodies to SAT1 and SAT 2
serotypes, while Knowles et al., (2008) reported serotype O and SAT2 from outbreaks. Recent review
confirmed serotypes, O, A, SAT1 and SAT2 have being circulating in the country in the last 54 years
(1955-2009) (Olabode, 2012). Serological surveys conducted between 2009 and 2011 in six Border States
and two other states that host the major cattle trek showed increasing sero-prevalence in cattle sampled
from Jos south LGA in Plateau state (56.3%) Ishola et al., (2011), Yobe State (82%), Plateau (80%),
Ogun (77.77%), Taraba (73.50%), Adamawa (68%), Borno (67%), Sokoto (63%) cattle and Bauchi
27.84% for only sheep and goat (Lazarus et al., 2012) as well as Kwara (75.11%) (Olabode et al., 2013)
as these reports confirmed increased disease endemicity with outbreaks been experienced annually due to
absence of cross-immunity and heterogeneity amongst serotypes (Abdulkadir, 1989). In spite of the
annual disease burden, sero-typing and molecular studies for FMD infections are inadequate due to poor
understanding of the epidemiology of FMD in Nigeria. Hence, occurrence and distribution pattern of the
known serotypes still remains unexploited and poorly understood.
FMDV Status in Nigeria
Year of occurrence
1955, 1958, 1963, 1975, 2007, 2009
1961-1962, 1964 -1968, 1970 -1972, 1974-1976, 1979, 2009
Asia 1
1963-1964, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1976, 1979-1981
1963, 1973, 1975, 1981-1982, 2007-2008
Source: FMD molecular genotyping genotyping/africa/nig.htm
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 4(2) May’14
In times past, lack of political will on the part of the Nigerian government to entrench control of FMD as
a national priority, largely due to high financial requirement worsened the lingering and devastating
impact on cattle production business in Nigeria.
The none reporting of disease outbreaks (Durojaiye, 1981) due to inefficient disease reporting system in
the Nigeria (Chukwuedo et al.,2003) and this has made planning for prevention and control of the disease
very difficult (Chukwuedo et al., 2008).
The lack of biosecurity as a result of the normadic /semi intensive management styles practiced by the
Fulani herdsmen as well as the fragmented structure of land holdings in Nigeria favoring cross infection
due cattle movements and sharing of other common service providers.
The advocated quarantine procedure at the various International, National and interstate livestock control
post and control of movement which are the most feasible methods of control were unsuccessful largely
due to un-controlled trading practice where cattle are moved from one market to another over a long
distance of 2-3 or more ECOWAS member states. This quarantine method was also saddled with such
difficulties as inadequate Veterinary staff for policing of interstate and National borders (Durojaiye,
Control Efforts
Since the advent of FMD in Nigeria attempts to control the disease has been based on quarantine and
restriction of trade cattle movement. The absence of a coordinated national surveillance for FMD in
Nigeria compounded with the insufficient information on the serotype occurrence and distribution has
hampered the successful development and production of localized indigenous Foot and mouth disease
vaccine for the control of the disease through vaccination (Olabode, et al., 2011). Although Limited scope
of vaccination was conducted using imported vaccines made from non Nigerian serotype A, SAT1 and
SAT2 viruses in some farms (Anon, 1977) which did not achieve desired effect under the Nigerian
conditions (Mowat et al., 1975; Nawathe and Majiyagbe, 1981). However, Mowat et al., (1975) and
Preston et al., (1982) showed suitable vaccine could be made from Nigerian strains and Nicholls et al.,
(1983) reported satisfactory protection of Nigerian cattle using inactivated vaccines formulated with
Nigerian strains with revaccination within interval of six months. This vaccine was not however used on a
large scale for the control of FMD in Nigeria as outbreaks continued to occur (Abegunde, 1987). This
ushered in FMD control efforts of the pastoralist through a local concept called “Dashse” based on their
International Journal of Livestock Research ISSN 2277-1964 ONLINE
Vol 4(2) May’14
existing veterinary knowledge. This gave promising result which was not sustainable due to absence of
cross-immunity between serotypes (Abdulkadir, 1989). Sub-stained clinical practice over several decades,
amongst Veterinary personnel and livestock superintendents involved treatment of secondary bacterial
infections associated with open FMD sores using parenteral antibiotics. However, success stories of
clinical bovine FMD outbreak management in institutional farms was observed using 1% formalin or
10% Sodium bicarbonate solutions as debring agent for the oral and foot vesicles or blisters, thus
restoring the ability of cattle to feed/graze and walk as reported (Ogunjumo, 2004). Although, field
efficacy evaluation studies for this management regiment in commercial Fulani herds is ongoing. Other
mythological management practice adopted by some pastoralist to curb the course FMD include the use
of herbs plus other ingredients such as honey, pepper, salts, and cooked onion leaves (Chukwedo et al.,
2007). Finally, clinically un-responsive and un-productive cattle are usually culled by the herdsmen.
Currently, no indigenous Nigerian strain vaccines are available (Olabode, 2012) with limited vaccination
option amongst pastoralists due to the high cost of non-Nigerian vaccines.
Foot and mouth disease is still a serious and endemic problem of trade and production cattle in Nigeria
that require urgent attention in order to salvage the non robust cattle population as well as enhance the
financial capabilities and livelihood of the pastoralist and cattle trading partners of West African sub
International collaboration with development partners (FAO and OIE), Regional laboratories and other
relevant stakeholders for the control FMD is therefore suggested. This would facilitate and upgrade
laboratory standard through the provision of equipment as well as training of both field and laboratory
personnel thus enhancing effectiveness of national surveillance and identification of current existing
serotypes that would bring about indigenous FMD vaccine production.
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... In this study, serotype A viruses were represented by a single outbreak from a native sedentary herd in 2014, and the viruses grouped with viruses from Nigeria collected between 2009 and 2015, indicating a pattern of regional transmission similar to that observed for serotype O. Previous studies have also indicated a close relationship between Nigerian FMDV serotype A isolates and FMDV isolates from Cameroon (21), most likely due to animal trade (54). In contrast, isolates collected in other regions of Cameroon in 2012 and 2005 were more distantly related to the sequences obtained in the current study, which suggests a pattern of repeated introductions. ...
Full-text available
Transboundary movement of animals is an important mechanism for foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) spread in endemic regions, such as Cameroon. Several transboundary animal trade routes cross the Far North Region of Cameroon, and cattle moved on foot along these routes often come in contact with native (sedentary and transhumant) herds. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of transboundary trade cattle in the epidemiology of FMDV in the Far North Region of Cameroon. A total of 582 oropharyngeal fluid (OPF) samples were collected from asymptomatic transboundary trade cattle at official border check points and 57 vesicle epithelial tissues were collected from clinically affected native cattle in the Far North Region of Cameroon during 2010–2014. Viral protein 1 (VP1) coding sequences were obtained from 6 OPF samples from transboundary cattle (4 serotype O, 2 serotype SAT2) and 19 epithelial tissue samples from native cattle (7 serotype O, 3 serotype SAT2, 9 serotype A). FMDV serotype O viruses belonged to two topotypes (East Africa-3 and West Africa), and phylogenetic analyses suggested a pattern of continuous transmission in the region. Serotype SAT2 viruses belonged to a single topotype (VII), and phylogenetic analysis suggested a pattern of repeated introductions of different SAT2 lineages in the region. Serotype A viruses belonged to topotype AFRICA/G-IV, and the pattern of transmission was unclear. Spearman rank correlation analysis of VP1 coding sequences obtained in this study from transboundary and native cattle showed a positive correlation between genetic distance and time for serotype O (ρ = 0.71, p = 0.003) and between genetic distance and geographic distance for serotype SAT2 (ρ = 0.54, p = 0.1). These data suggest that transboundary trade cattle participate in the transmission of FMDV in the Far North Region of Cameroon, however the dynamics and direction of transmission could not be determined in this study. Results of this study contribute to the understanding of transboundary FMDV epidemiology in Central Africa and will help to inform control programs in Cameroon and in the region.
Full-text available
Aim: A serological survey for the detection of Foot and Mouth Disease virus antibodies in trade cattle was conducted todetermine the seroprevalence of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the Kwara state of Nigeria.Materials and Methods: Across-sectional study based on convenient sampling for bovine blood was carried out in 5 cattlemarkets (Offa, Bode Sadu, Ilesha baruba, Ilorin, Ajasse) across five local government areas in Kwara State amongst cattle withunknown history of FMD vaccination over a period of August-September-October, 2011. The sera obtained were screenedusing NS-Blocking ELISAkit (PRIOCHECKR).Results: Out of the 450 cattle (268 cows and 182 bulls) screened for FMD antibodies, sero-positivity was highest amongstcows 62.13%. Percentage distribution of sero-positive reactors by location showed Ilesha baruba, Ilorin and Offa had 27.14%,23.80% and 13.33% respectively, while seropositivity amongst bulls was 37.86%, highest occurrence in Offa 30.46% andleast in Ilesha baruba 14.84%. FMD carriers according to breeds showed 77.21% white Fulani (Bunaji) was positive over theother breeds. The sex, location and breed was significant by chi square p
The prevalence of antibodies against the three active infections of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Sudan; “O”, “A” and “SAT2”, was studied in more than 1500 cattle sera, collected from 7 states in 2013, using a screening format of serum neutralization test (SNT). Prevalence detected were 60.16% ±2.25, 30.04%±2.19 and 12.31% ±1.59 for type “O”, “A” and “SAT2” respectively. The result indicated intense circulation and wide distribution of type “O” in the country as opposed to a likely significant introduction of type “SAT2” and “A”. The geographical distribution of FMD infections was defined as penetrating along the Nile basin, particularly, for “O” and “A” viruses and more favorable at Eastern and Western Sudan. Still more favorable conditions are to be expected North of Khartoum and in Darfur in the far West. Type “O” was intensely disseminated along the Nile basin and distribution decreased away from there. The Blue Nile state, at the South Eastern corner of the country, was an important route of entry of the three FMD viruses. Evidently, more risk factors were associated with intense traffic and movements of livestock related to national trade along and from the Nile basin than with movement of livestock associated with nomadic pastoralists in the East and West of the country. Nonetheless, movement of nomadic pastoralists in the East was associated with the potential risk of introduction of type “A” through the extended Eastern border of the country from Wad El Helew in Kassala to Aljabalein in the White Nile state.
The aim of this study was to produce a sensitive, simple and rapid diagnostic method for the detection of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) in suspected cases of FMD, a one-step single-tube method of reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal polymerase amplification (RT-LAMP). A set of six common primers was designed to target the highly conserved region of the RNA polymerase 3Dpol gene of the seven FMDV serotypes. The sensitivity and specificity of RT-LAMP were evaluated by detection of 10-fold serial dilutions of the standard plasmids, and samples from experimental infection and suspected cases of FMD. The results showed that the target nucleic acid of four serotypes of FMDV (A, 0, Asia! and C) can be amplified rapidly by LAMP in a water bath in less than an hour. At least 10 copies of the DNA could be detected by RT-LAMP, which showed the same sensitivity as real-time PCR and another technique, RT-LAMP-1, but 10 times higher than that of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). All 104 samples were detected by RT-LAMP, RT-LAMP-1, RT-PCR and real-time PCR; the positive ratios were 98.31%, 86.44%, 93.22%, and 100%, respectively. The results indicate that RT-LAMP is a rapid, cost-effective, efficient and simple method. Therefore it may be applied for the rapid detection of FMDV in the laboratory or under field conditions.
Although there is not data published at present it is generally recognised by those concerned with FMD vaccination in African countries, that the production of successful vaccines against the SAT strains is more difficult as compared to the O, A and C serotypes of virus. The problem is largely concerned with poor growth of these strains in culture, resulting in vaccines of low potency. Nigeria is one of the African countries which now recognise the need for protection against FMD if its livestock industry is to develop. So far there has been no information published concerning the ability of its indigenous cattle to respond to vaccination or the suitability of local virus strains for the preparation of vaccines. This paper gives the preliminary results of an investigation at the Federal Department of Veterinary Research, Vom, Nigeria to assess the response of small groups of European and Zebu type cattle to trivalent vaccines, either of the conventional commercial formulation or formulated as oil emulsion vaccines and prepared with viruses isolated from local outbreaks of the disease.