Overview of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a positive-sense, single-stranded, nonenveloped RNA virus approximately 7.5-8.5 kb in length belonging to the genus Aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. FMDV is the causitive agent of Foot-and-mouth disease, a highly communicable viral disease characterized by fever and vesicles in the mouth and on the muzzle, teats, and feet and is spread through direct contact or aerosolized virus via respiratory secretions, milk, semen, and ingestion of feed from infected animals (meat, offal, milk). In a susceptible population, morbidity reaches 100% with rare fatalities except in young animals. FMD was once distributed worldwide but has been eradicated in some regions, including North America and Western Europe. In endemic countries, FMD places economic constraints on the international livestock trade and can be easily reintroduced into disease-free areas unless strict precautions are in place. Outbreaks can severely disrupt livestock production and require significant resources to control, as in the 2001 UK outbreak.