Detection of carriers of foot-and-mouth disease virus among vaccinated cattle

P.L.J.M. Moonen, L. Jacobs, A. Crienen, A. Dekker

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    To investigate and optimise detection of carriers, we vaccinated 15 calves with an inactivated vaccine based on foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) A Turkey strain and challenged them and two further non-vaccinated calves with the homologous virus four weeks later. To determine transmission to a sensitive animal, we put a sentinel calf among the infected cattle from 60 days post-infection until the end of the experiment at 609 days post-infection. Samples were tested for the presence of FMDV, viral genome, specific IgA antibodies, antibodies against FMDV non-structural (NS) proteins or neutralising antibodies. Virus and viral genome was intermittently isolated from probang samples and the number of isolations decreased over time. During the first 100 days significantly more samples were positive by RT-PCR than by virus isolation (VI), whereas, late after infection more samples were positive by virus isolation. All the inoculated cattle developed high titres of neutralising antibodies that remained high during the entire experiment. An IgA antibody response was intermittently detected in the oropharyngeal fluid of 14 of the 17 calves, while all of them developed detectable levels of antibodies to NS proteins of FMDV in serum, which declined slowly beyond 34 days post-infection. Nevertheless, at 609 days after inoculation, 10 cattle (60%) were still positive by NS ELISA. Of the 17 cattle in our experiment, 16 became carriers. Despite frequent reallocation between a different pair of infected cattle no transmission to the sentinel calf occurred. It remained negative in all assays during the entire experiment. The results of this experiment show that the NS ELISA is currently the most sensitive method to detect carriers in a vaccinated cattle population
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)151-160
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Issue number3-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2004


    • buffalo syncerus-caffer
    • african buffalo
    • united-kingdom
    • epizootiological importance
    • transmission
    • infection
    • outbreak
    • epidemic
    • elisa

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