In Africa, for the control of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), more information is needed on the spread of the disease at local, regional and inter-regional level. The aim of this review is to identify the role that animal husbandry, trade and wildlife have on the transmission of FMD and to provide a scientific basis for different FMD control measures in Africa. Review of literature, published reports and databases shows that there is more long distance spread of FMD virus serotypes within North, West, Central and East Africa than in southern Africa. In North, West, Central and East Africa migratory animal husbandry systems often related with search for grazing and water as well as trade are practiced to a greater extent than in southern Africa. In southern Africa, the role of African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is more extensively studied than in the other parts of Africa, but based on the densities of African buffalo in Central and East Africa, one would assume that buffalo should also play a role in the epidemiology of FMD in this part of Africa. More sampling of buffalo is necessary in West, Central and East Africa. The genetic analysis of virus strains has proven to be valuable to increase our understanding in the spread of FMD in Africa. This review shows that there is a difference in FMD occurrence between southern Africa and the rest of the continent; this distinction is most likely based on differences in animal husbandry and trade systems. Insufficient data on FMD in wildlife outside southern Africa is limiting our understanding on the role wildlife plays in the transmission of FMD in the other buffalo inhabited areas of Africa.
- Animal husbandry
- Foot-and-mouth disease