Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is a high-impact, contagious transboundary animal disease that is endemic in Southeast Asia. Abattoir samples were routinely collected in six selected provinces between March and December 2019. A total of 1280 samples of abattoir animals were tested for FMD Non-Structural Protein (NSP) antibodies to indicate natural infections. Overall, 22.8% were seropositive for FMD NSP antibodies while seroprevalence of cattle (n = 469), buffalo (n = 214), and pigs (n = 597) were 44.6%, 35.0%, and 1.3%, respectively. The highest seroprevalence destination province was Xiengkhouang (35.3% of 272 samples), followed by Savannakhet (27.0% of 244 samples). Risk factors for evidence of natural infection identified by a multivariate logistic regression model included age groups (p-value = 0.02) and origin provinces (p-value = 2.8 × 10-5) of the animals. There were significant differences of FMD NSP seroprevalence between age groups and origin provinces of the animals. The odds ratio of a seropositive result in the less than 1 year old group was 2.5 (95% CI; 1.4, 4.4) when compared to the 3-4 years old group, while the odds ratios for animals that originated from Khammouane and Xiengkhouang provinces were 4.5 (95% CI; 1.1, 18.7) and 2.4 (95% CI; 1.4, 4.1), respectively, when compared to Champasak province. Serotype-specific antibody ELISA for 44 NSP antibody-positive samples revealed evidence of FMD serotypes O and A virus circulation in some provinces. Despite the passive abattoir survey providing useful information on FMD virus previous exposure and geographic locations of the animals, timely information on FMD virus circulation and distribution is also crucial to an effective control program. Alternative approaches to increase the cost-effectiveness of the surveillance network are also discussed.
Tropical animal health and production
Maidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.