Preface content

Welcome to the website for the OIE/FAO Reference Laboratory Network for Foot-and-Mouth Disease.

The OIE and FAO have designated reference laboratories with scientific and technical expertise within the areas of animal health, public health and zootechnics to help prevent, control and eradicate major animal diseases.More about us



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The purpose of the Network of OIE/FAO FMD Reference Laboratories is to make available accurate and timely data to support global surveillance and control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
The goals of the Network are:

  1. Understanding global Foot-and-mouth disease virus distribution and patterns in order to identify threats and make vaccine recommendations

  2. Improving the quality of laboratory tests from international and national reference laboratories

  3. Building up local capability in support of regional control programmes

This Network arose from a meeting of the OIE ad hoc group of Antigen and Vaccine Banks (in Paris 2004) where it was decided to generate two forums to coordinate international activities: a vaccine bank network (now the IVSRN), and this Foot-and-Mouth Disease Reference Laboratory Network.

Details of the laboratories that are part of this network can be found elsewhere on this site. along with details of the Network's annual meetings.


FMD status map on oie.int

This figure shows which  countries and zones are recognised by the World Animal Health Organisation (OIE) as free from FMD where vaccination is and is not practised, according to criteria set out in Resolution no.15 (87th General Session of World Assembly May 2019). Suspension of FMD free status where requirements have not been fulfilled is also shown.

For a full list of OIE member country statuses and further information on how these are achieved see link below.

Official FMD status on oie.int


PCP-FMD status map on gf-tads.org

Progressive Control Pathway for Foot-and-Mouth Disease

"The Progressive Control Pathway for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (PCP-FMD) developed by FAO and EuFMD and further endorsed by the OIE, guides endemic countries through a series of incremental steps to better manage FMD risks. The OIE Performance of Veterinary Services Pathway (PVS) evaluates the national Veterinary Services of the country with the aim of bringing them into compliance with OIE quality standards. Reliable veterinary services ensure not only the quality and safety of livestock production but also sustainable food security and livelihoods and contribute to disease control and safe trade.
The Progressive Control Pathway recognizes that differences in risk of infection occur between (and within) infected countries, and that countries are at different stages in managing the risk of infection. The PCP applies a risk-reduction approach in which each Member Nation is encouraged to develop national risk reduction strategies that are supportive to the regional effort. The PCP-FMD tool is a core component of Global FMD Control Strategy."

- from the PCP-FMD page on fao.org


A more detailed description of of the Progressive Control Pathway for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (including the Principles, Stage Descriptions, Standards and e-learning) can be found on the gf-tads and FAO websites.

PCP-FMD pages on fao.org

PCP-FMD pages on gf-tads.org


PCP-FMD stages

0 FMD risk not controlled. No reliable information

1 Risks and control options are identified

2 Impact of FMD is reduced in targeted sectors / areas

3 Virus circulation is reduced where the national Official Control Programme is applied

4 Achieve OIE recognition of freedom with vaccination

- Maintain FMD freedom. Cease vaccination to achieve freedom without vaccination

- Maintain FMD freedom without vaccination 


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Conjectured status of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in countries according to the World Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (WRLFMD).


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Distribution of the seven endemic pools of Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Virus circulation and evolution within these regional virus pools results in changing priorities for appropriately adapted vaccines. Periodically, viruses spread between pools and to free regions, and countries at the interfaces between pools (such as in North Africa and Central Asia) often experience FMD outbreaks from different regional sources.

The boundaries of the pools have not been precisely mapped and may be dynamic. In Africa there are currently three FMD virus pools loosely defined as covering East Africa (pool 4), West Africa (pool 5) and Southern Africa (pool 6). There is some overlap between pools 4 and 5. It has been suggested to extend pool 4 southwards to include Tanzania and to contract pool 6 to exclude that country (© WRLFMD).

January to March 2021

Sample submissions to International FMD Reference Laboratories have been impacted by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic: despite these current difficulties, the OIE/FAO FMD Laboratory Network (https://www.foot-and-mouth.org) welcomes countries to submit appropriate clinical samples for laboratory analyses – testing is free-of-charge, for further information or assistance with shipments, please contact donald.king@pirbright.ac.uk.
These data highlight two new events:

  1. Samples from Mauritius: In recent years, particular attention has focused on FMD viruses that circulate in Pool 2 (South Asia) and the frequency by which these viruses can seed new outbreaks elsewhere. Previous examples of viruses that have spread from Pool 2 include O/ME-SA/Ind-2001 (d and e sub-lineages) and A/ASIA/G-VII. In the Jan-Mar 2021 report, we describe new sequence data that have been provided by ANSES (France) for samples collected on the Island of Rodriguez in Mauritius during March 2021. Analsyses demonstrate that these new sequences belong to the O/ME-SA/Ind-2001e lineage – however, they appear to be distinct from sequences that were detected in Mauritius during 2016.
  2. Samples from Bahrain: FMDV sequence data for the samples collected in Bahrain have been characterised as belonging to two East African viral lineages (O/EA-3 and A/AFRICA/G-I). We understand that these samples are from cattle that have been recently imported from Somalia which explains the unexpected origin of these viruses.

A new review article published by the OIE/FAO FMD Laboratory Network provides an overview of the history of serotype C and evidence that this serotype is no long circulating in susceptible hosts (see: https://academic.oup.com/ve/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ve/veab009/6178807). Now that more than sixteen years have passed since the last serotype C outbreak (in Kenya and Brazil in 2004), this paper also makes recommendations to reduce the possibility that this serotype is reintroduced into the field.

October to December 2020

In recent years, particular attention has focused on FMD viruses that circulate in Pool 2 (South Asia) and the frequency by which these viruses can seed new outbreaks elsewhere in Asia. Examples of viruses that have spread from Pool 2 include O/ME-SA/Ind-2001 (d and e sub-lineages) and A/ASIA/G-VII. Earlier in 2020, a new serotype O lineage was described for samples collected in Sri Lanka (see Jan-Mar 2020 report); new data provided from ICAR-DFMD India during the OIE/FAO FMD Laboratory Network meeting provides further evidence that this lineage (tentatively named O/ME-SA/SA-2018) is more widely distributed in South Asian countries. Data in this report also describes new genetic clade within the O/ME-SA/PanAsiaFAR-11 sub-lineage which has been detected in Iran and presents the phylogenetic tree for the new cases due to the O/ME-SA/PanAsiaANT-10 sub-lineage detected in Turkey. Elsewhere, sub-clinical cases (due to SAT 1) have been reported in South Africa.

The WRLFMD has been recently working with EuFMD to develop an open-access interactive FMD dashboard to allow users to interrogate, retrieve and display FMD information (including FMDV genomic data). The scope and functionality of the improved tools implemented during this project will be influenced by your requirements and therefore we are seeking feedback to help us to understand how we should prioritise the design of this system. For those you that are interested, please complete the survey in the link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=Eh70v1zu20izMQzOHucOut-ijsc2qwZOo151ynO2MwhUN01SUFVROTc3TTRYRklEMTU3WU1FTUsyQy4u

July to September 2020

In common with the quarter, samples submitted to the WRLFMD during this reporting period (July to September 2020) remain very low. Although it is perhaps inevitable that the international activities of FMD reference laboratories have been impacted by COVID-19, at Pirbright our experience is that air-freight shipments can still be arranged - if they are carefully planned, in advance! We are very happy to be contacted to help address any problems that scientists are experiencing to send samples to WRLFMD for analyses.

In this quarter, there were results for FMDV-positive samples submitted from Vietnam, where three different serotype O lineages were detected (O/ME-SA/Ind-2001e, O/ME-SA/PanAsia and O/SEA/Mya-98). Sequence data submitted from Turkey (from GenBank) and Zambia (from SSARRL for FMD, Botswana) were also analysed. In addition to three phylogenetic trees that reconstruct the spread of the A/ASIA/G-VII lineage in Turkey during 2015-17, more recent data (received in October from the ŞAP FMD Institute, Ankara) highlights a new introduction of the O/ME-SA/PanAsia-2ANT-10 lineage into the country (for the first time since 2017). Elsewhere, there have been reports to the OIE of outbreaks in South Africa (serotype SAT 2), Libya (serotype A), Rwanda (Kayonza; where serotype SAT 2 has been detected by serology), Mozambique (untyped), and southern Malawi (initially reported as untyped – but now typed as SAT 2 by SSARRL, Botswana). Despite the technical challenges of connecting to virtual platforms (via SKYPE, Zoom etc...), a number of international FMD meetings have been scheduled including the National Coordinators of SEACFMD during July and the SADC FMD Roadmap meeting in November. In December, the Annual meeting of the OIE/FAO FMD Laboratory Network and the Open Session of EuFMD will also be held in a virtual-remote format. Finally, I take this opportunity to let FMD colleagues know that WRLFMD and EuFMD will be running an e-learning training course the covers FMD diagnostics starting in November. This course is designed for personnel working in national FMD laboratories and further details are provided in Annex 4 of WRLFMD July - September 2020 quarterly report.

April to June 2020

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Congratulations to Keith Sumption in his new role as the CVO for Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – and sincerely hope that he will still be able to dedicate some time to FMD-specific issues!

Over the past few months, we have all had to get used to a different way of working including learning new ways of exchanging information via remote meetings. Don King was pleased to “virtually” join in recent meetings of the South-East Asia and China FMD campaign (SEACFMD) National Coordinators to learn about the FMD situation in Southeast Asia and the inevitable impacts of COVID-19 upon local efforts to control the disease. During the shut-down period, staff from the WRLFMD have been deployed to hospitals to assist in routine COVID-19 RT-PCR testing and have also contributed to work to implement new ELISA tests to measure serological responses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Work at Pirbright is now slowly getting back to a new “normal” and we have started to receive overseas samples for testing as well as dispatch sample panels for the proficiency testing exercise.

This quarter there are results for samples that have been received from Pakistan where sequences recovered for the samples from Pakistan (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020) cover the three FMDV serotypes (O, A and Asia 1) that are endemic in the country. For serotype O, more than 50 percent of the sequences (n=19) belonged to the O/ME-SA/Ind-2001 clade; findings which indicate that this lineage has become more widely established in the country (after it was detected for the first time in 2019; see: https://mra.asm.org/content/9/18/e00165-20). Elsewhere, new cases of FMD have been reported in Libya (serotype A) and within the FMD protection zone in South Africa (serotype SAT 2).

The information included in the quarterly report from the WRLFMD (https://www.wrlfmd.org/ref-lab-reports) now complements the EuFMD FAST surveillance report for the European neighbourhood (http://www.fao.org/3/cb0215en/cb0215en.pdf).

January to March 2020


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There have been new FMD outbreaks in North Africa (Libya), from where the disease threatens the Maghreb countries; the detection of new serotype O lineages in Pool 2 (Sri Lanka) and the complexities of multiple serotype and topotype co-circulations in Pool 4 (East Africa) that indicate that more frequent and timely virus typing is required. Despite the enhanced surveillance work of the OIE/FAO FMD Laboratory Network there are significant and concerning gaps in submissions from Pool 3 (countries in Middle-East and parts of Central Asia), Pool 5 countries in West Africa (Mali, Chad, Niger) and Pool 1 countries (Myanmar and Cambodia).

There is also concern for the lack of typing of samples from Malawi given the southerly spread of FMDV from Pool 4 into Pool 3 during 2018-19 and potential for involvement with risk populations in southern Africa.

All colleagues are encouraged to assist to increase the submissions from these gap areas.

Headline events before 2020

There are currently no headline events before January 2020. However information on FMD events before Janaury 2020 can be found in:

  • Annual reports and minutes of the Annual Meeting from the OIE-FAO FMD laboratory network, on this website.
  • Quarterly reports from the WRLFMD,found on wrlfmd.org.
  • Monthly situation reports from European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD),found on fao.org.

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