Published Date: 2017-07-30 14:58:25
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Foot & mouth disease - Palest Auth (04): (GZ) st. SAT-2, bov. susp. Israel alert
Archive Number: 20170730.5215192
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE - PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY (04): (GAZA STRIP), SEROTYPE SAT-2 SUSPECTED, ISRAEL ALERT
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Date: Thu 27 Jul 2017 [Circulated Sun 30 Jul 2017]
Source: Circular by the CVO Israel, No. 12/2017/2 [in Hebrew, trans. Mod.AS, edited]
FMD serotype SAT-2 feared in the south of the Gaza Strip
- On 12 Jul 2017, a report was received from the Veterinary Services in Gaza addressing the appearance of typical clinical oral signs of FMD in 25 calves out of 70, which had been imported from Israel. All 70 calves had been vaccinated twice against FMD in Israel prior to their transfer to the Gaza Strip.
- On 13 Jul 2017, sick calves were sampled in 2 farms in Rafah. The samples were received at the FMD Laboratory, Kimron Veterinary Institute, Beit-Dagan on 17 Jul 2017. Upon arrival, they were found not to have been refrigerated [during the 4 days between submission and arrival], and some of them were dried-up; their poor quality caused difficulties in laboratory diagnosis.
- Despite the described difficulties, results are indicative of the presence of FMDV serotype SAT2.
- According to the report, all the sick calves were slaughtered, and no further disease cases are currently known to be present in the Gaza Strip. Consequently, no additional sampling is possible.
- To the best of our knowledge, there are no official reports of the outbreak of the disease in Egypt.
- The veterinary services are examining the various possibilities for dealing with the threat, such as: establishing a vaccinated cordon sanitaire, animal movement restrictions, etc.
- The vaccine applied currently in Israel does not include SAT-2 antigen. Therefore, the Veterinary Services consider the possibility of self-production of such vaccine or the purchase of available vaccine quantities, though the world reserve of this serotype is limited. When available, additional vaccine doses will be used for reinforcement of the vaccination within the protection zone and as a reserve for the possibility of FMD spread elsewhere within the country, requiring mass vaccinations.
- Although the clinical signs of the disease by different strains of the virus are generally similar, it is important to remember that the SAT-2 virus strain may cause a disease picture more dramatic than the one experienced in Israel due to the full susceptibility of the local livestock. When an unvaccinated herd is infected, a stormy disease and serious losses may be caused compared to past outbreaks. For many years, most outbreaks in Israel have been caused by FMDV serotype O, affecting vaccinated herds, causing low morbidity. However, high mortality in progeny, particularly in dairy sheep, as well as mortality of adult animals were occasionally seen, with complications such as mastitis.
- It should be remembered that singular or [massive] cases of sudden mortalities in progeny of cattle, sheep, goats or pigs might, at times, be the only clinical manifestation of FMD infection. Early detection and notification of such conditions are essential. Early warning of infection or its suspicion, at its very beginning, is essential for the checking of wide outbreaks within and between herds. Veterinary practitioners are requested to provide guidance to breeders, suppliers, service providers and others addressing the hazards of the disease spread, its signs, and the measures required for its prevention and control.
- Biosafety is of paramount importance; we aim to minimize the damage to trade throughout the country while preventing the introduction and spread of the disease. Therefore, every herd owner must defend his livestock and increase the level of his biosafety according to the type and facilities of the holding, the entry of service vehicles, workers, visitors, the point of loading and unloading of feed, goods and animals, taking into account the proximity of grazing animals.
- Veterinarians, breeders and all practitioners are encouraged to be alert and report to the regional veterinary offices any suspected illness or unauthorised animal movement. At this time, over-reporting is preferable to lack of reporting. Any suspicion of FMD or unusual morbidity or mortality in the herd should be immediately reported to the director of the closest regional veterinary office.
- Samples of FMD-suspected material should not be sent independently. Sampling and the delivery of the samples should be carried out only by the trained personnel of the Field Veterinary Services.
- Your full cooperation and utmost alertness are requested.
Dr. Shlomo Garazi
Director of the Veterinary Services (acting)
[The above circular, sent to practitioners, animal breeders and other stakeholders, is not (yet) available on the web-site of Israel's Veterinary Services & Animal Health.
Strains of FMDV SAT-2 have been circulating in Egypt, according to the Egypt page of the WRLFMD, in the years 1950, 2012, and 2014-2015. In 2012, this strain was recorded for the 1st time in the Gaza strip, most likely introduced by smuggled cattle from Egypt's Sinai peninsula (through illegal tunnels). It did not spread at that time to Israel.
According to EUFMD's monthly global report for May 2017, FMDV serotype SAT-2 was last recorded in Egypt during May-June 2016 http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/user_upload/eufmd/docs/FMD_monthly_reports/2017/May_2017.pdf.
The most recent genotyped FMDV SAT-2 strain from Egypt was collected from cattle at Elmahmodia, Somesta, Beni Suef governorate on 26 Jul 2015 and genotyped by WRLFMD (Pirbright) as Topotype: VII, Lineage: Alx-12. The full results of the genotyping, including a dendogram and the most closely related prototype sequences are available at
The Kimron Veterinary Institute at Beit Dagan constructed in 1999 a High-Containment Biosafety facility for the emergency production of FMD (and other exotic diseases) vaccines. The planning of the facility and its initial equipping were technically and financially supported by the EC; this, in anticipation of its due contribution to regional needs.
Since its inauguration, the facility was utilized for various scientific needs and for the experimental production of small quantities of vaccines, but not for the production of significant quantities of vaccines. In the current situation, its activation for its initial end may be a timely achievement.
Subscribers may note that FAO's Crisis Management Center-Animal Health (CMC-AH) in collaboration with the FAO West Bank and Gaza Strip office in Jerusalem organized a joint Palestinian-Israeli Good Emergency Management Practice (GEMP) workshop from 16 to 18 Jul 2017 in Jerusalem. "This workshop was a timely and significant collaboration supporting and strengthening the continuous dialogue required between neighbours," says FAO's recent press release. It further states that the workshop was arranged since "transboundary animal diseases (TADs) know no borders;" indeed, the timeliness of the workshop is demonstrated by the current event in the Gaza strip (details at http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/home/en/news_archive/2017_Joint_Palestinian_Israeli_Good_Emergency.html).
It may be assumed that the recent samples from the Gaza strip have been forwarded for confirmation and genotyping to the Pirbright WRLFMD. Results are anticipated with interest. - Mod.AS
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/92.]