Molecular Epidemiology of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in Tanzania during 2020 to 2021 Outbreaks

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Microbiology, Parasitology and Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro 3019, Tanzania.

2 SACIDS Foundation for One Health, Africa Centre of Excellence for Infectious Diseases of Humans and Animals, Morogoro 3297, Tanzania.

3 Tanzania Veterinary Laboratory Agency, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Biotechnology, Dar es salaam 9254, Tanzania.

4 Department of Veterinary Medicine and public Health, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro 3021, Tanzania.

5 FAO World Reference Laboratory for FMD, The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Woking, GU24 ONF, United Kingdom.

6 Clinomics, Uitzich Road, Bainsvlei, Bloemfontein, Free State 9301, South Africa.


Background: Food and mouth disease (FMD) is an endemic disease of cattle and other cloven hoofed animals. The objective of this study was to investigate the genetic characteristics and evolutionary relationships for the 2020 to 2021 field circulating Food and mouth disease virus (FMDV) obtained from reported outbreaks in different parts of Tanzania.
Methods: The epithelial tissues were collected from lesions (oral, nasal, interdigital) of FMD suspect cases, stored and shipped to the laboratory for analysis. In the laboratory, the samples were prepared for nucleic acid extraction, FMDV detection, typing, sequencing, and phylogeny analysis. The construction of the phylogenetic trees was done by aligning current field strains nucleotide sequences with those from past studies stored in GenBank database.   
Results: The study identified three FMDV serotypes (A, O and, SAT1) to be circulating in the field as Africa Topotype G-I lineage, EA-2 Topotype, and Topotype I (NWZ) respectively. The identified field strains showed diverse scores of shared identity among current and past study strains. The generated nucleotide sequences from this study types O and SAT1 field strains were analysed categorically, and showed shared percent identities of 92.0-100.0% and 96.9-98.8% respectively.
Conclusion: The sequencing and analysis of the VP1 coding region enhance FMDV knowledge on the genetic and evolutionary relationships existing among field strains, and commend for improved future strategies for effective national, regional and global FMD control measures.


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