Risk factors and the role of wildlife in the maintenance of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Uganda
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Risk factors and the role of African buffalos in the maintenance of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Uganda were investigated. This research project, studied the risk factors for the occurrence of FMD, the circulating serotypes of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the role of African buffalos in the maintenance of FMD, and the performance of Ceditest® FMDV type O ELISA in the detection of antibodies against FMDV under endemic situation in Uganda. This study was part of a larger project; Livestock-wildlife diseases in East Africa aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of FMD in East Africa so as to contribute to its control. This particular study analyzed a total of 242 buffalo samples, collected between 2001 and 2008. Other samples included in this study were obtained from the impala (21), hartebeest (7), waterbuck (5), giraffe (1) and eland (1). The risk factors for the occurrence of FMD were investigated based on official country reports of FMD (2001-2008) and questionnaire data from the district veterinary officers. Ceditest® FMDV NS ELISA, Ceditest® FMDV type O ELISA, and the Solid Phase Blocking ELISA (SPBE) for the seven serotypes were used to detect antibodies against FMDV. Results from this study show that African buffalos are important in the maintenance of the SAT serotypes of FMDV in Uganda, and also provide evidence that the investigated buffalo herds may have been exposed to serotype O at some point in time. Molecular characterization confirmed the presence of serotypes SAT 1 and SAT 2. The pattern of occurrence of FMD outbreaks in livestock was not necessarily related to the proximity to wildlife. This study confirmed that African buffalo herds in the different national parks in Uganda continuously habour antibodies against FMDV. This study also shows that the Ceditest® FMDV type O ELISA seem to be less efficient at detecting antibodies against the SAT serotypes of FMDV.