Published Date: 2022-02-13 12:06:35 GMT
Subject: PRO/AH> Foot & mouth disease - Jordan (02): (IR,BA) cattle, st O, spread
Archive Number: 20220213.8701433
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - JORDAN (02): (IRBID, BALQA) CATTLE, SEROTYPE O, SPREAD
A ProMED-mail post http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
Date: Thu 10 Feb 2022
Source: Al Ghad [in Arabic, machine trans., abridged, edited]
Cattle breeders in the Jordan Valley are facing a great challenge in the form of infection of their livestock with the foot and mouth [FMD] virus, which negatively affects their only source of livelihood. Cases of deaths and shortages in the production of milk and its by-products have resulted from the infection of their livestock, causing great losses.
[UA], a breeder, indicated that FMD caused the deaths of at least 6 head of cattle with the rest of the herd being affected, despite the provision of vaccinations and the necessary treatments. She pointed out that losses are increasing with the deaths of several young calves during a short period, raising the level of seriousness of the situation and unexpected, huge losses.
She said that breeders depend on the livestock trade and the sale of milk, yogurt and cheese as their only source of livelihood, explaining that they buy medicines at their own expense. She revealed that some breeders sell their products of dairy and cheese to citizens and traders, under the pretext of reducing their losses, despite the danger of these products from infected livestock. She stressed the importance of securing the necessary vaccinations and treatments for livestock breeders to combat this disease.
[AM], another breeder, acknowledged that some livestock breeders try to compensate for their losses by selling cheese and other products to merchants who, in turn, sell it to factories and confectioneries. This is despite the fact that cheese merchants took advantage of these conditions by lowering their purchase prices. He too indicated that most livestock breeders buy medicines at their own expense, because the Directorate of Agriculture does not provide such medicaments or supports purchase at reasonable prices, placing a great financial burden on the farmers.
Agronomist Musab Khater explains that FMD is a deadly viral disease that affects both domestic and wild animals, and is considered most contagious since it is transmitted by direct contact or by air from infected to healthy animals, or indirectly by contaminated feeders, troughs and barns. He pointed out that the infected animals become febrile and develop lesions on the tongue, dental pad, gums, soft palate, nostrils, muzzle, feet and teats. Younger animals may die; older animals suffer from decreased milk quality and yields, weight loss and protracted convalescence periods. He added that the emergence of this disease leads to a severe stagnation in the sale of products, especially cheese, which is now being sold to traders at low prices.
A source at the Ministry of Agriculture explains that in the event a farmer reports suspected FMD signs, a veterinary team visits the herd, obtains samples and sends them to the laboratory. Consequently, the ministry is requested to provide the directorate with treatments and vaccinations, to be distributed to the breeders. He pointed out that there are a number of cases of FMD in the Jordan Valley region, so vaccines have been distributed to a number of livestock breeders to treat them.
[byline: Habis Al-Adwan]
[The initial cases of the current FMD serotype O epizootic were noticed in Jordan in early November 2021, in a small number of imported calves kept around the Sahab livestock market, Amman province (Saraya News, 4 Nov 2021, at <tinyurl.com/t2cj57zv>). The site of their infection is not known; infection from a local source has not been ruled out. Later, the Jordanian authorities notified the OIE about the said outbreak and its laboratory confirmation, adding -- in a follow-up report -- its spread in 2 other provinces, Mafraq and Irbid. They also reported that the virus was sequenced (by Irbid University) as FMDV O, topotype ME-SA, lineage PanAsia 2, sublineage ANT-10 (ProMED post 20211229.8700556). The 2 outbreaks affecting cattle and sheep in the Irbid province were located in the upper Ghor area, adjacent to the Jordan River.
Since then, the virus has spread to adjacent territories: the Palestinian Authority (PA; since 12 Dec 2021, Tubas province, adjacent to the Jordan river), spreading further throughout the West Bank. This strain was genotyped as being similar to the one genotyped in Jordan (20211231.8700601). Recently (1 Feb 2022) the virus has been reported also from Israel, affecting free-grazing beef cattle in HaDarom/central district, and housed fattening calves in a village in HaZafon/Northern district (20220209.8701353).
According to the current, and several earlier media reports, the virus seems to have already spread throughout Jordan. Its circulation in the Jordan valley (shared, in the Kingdom of Jordan, by the Irbid and Balqa provinces) is of particular interest, in view of the presence of a dense population of wild boars along the Jordan River, which is the border separating Jordan from Israel and the PA.
Porcines are known to be prolific FMD virus emitters; they are also (the only) scavenging species among ungulates. Their possible role in the epidemiology of FMD, including the airborne route, has been subject to some past studies (20110522.1556); the current event may offer an opportunity for further studies of this issue, including a serosurvey in boar samples on both sides of the Jordan River.
Genotyping results of the virus from the 2 new outbreaks in Israel are not yet available. Hopefully, samples from Jordan, Palestinian Authority, and Israel have been submitted to an international reference laboratory for comparative studies and for vaccine matching tests. - Mod.AS