Monday, July 9, 2018
How to detect foot and mouth disease with simple environmental sampling. Simple sampling method eases identification of foot and mouth disease outbreaks.Sampling the environment is an effective way to detect foot and mouth disease, according to a paper published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The sampling method, swabbing environmental surfaces where livestock are kept, can be easily performed and can detect viral genetic material that can persist in the environment well beyond the time when livestock cease manifesting clinical signs of disease. Unlike taking clinical samples, those taking samples need not be able to recognize clinical signs of foot and mouth disease. Thus, smallholder farmers in developing countries could take the samples in lieu of veterinarians. Foot and mouth disease is caused by a member of the genus, Aphthovirus. It causes blisters in the mouths and on the feet of cattle, goats, pigs, and other cloven-hoofed mammals. The virus contains a single strand of RNA that encodes its genome. Humans are not susceptible to foot and mouth, and the disease generally doesn't kill animals. However, it can greatly reduce milk and meat production, creating a hardship for smallholder farmers. Foot and mouth disease can also have a major impact on a national economy. In foot and mouth disease-free countries, an incursion of foot and mouth disease can cause significant losses due to imposed grade restrictions and subsequent control measures required to eradicate the disease.