Foot and mouth disease (FMD), is a highly contagious viral trans-boundary disease of both domestic and wild cloven hoofed animals characterized by high morbidity and decreased livestock productivity, while affected countries are being excluded from international animal trade. The first Nigerian reported and typed outbreak was in the early '50s amongst herds from the North-East with subsequent reports around the country. These reports confirm endemicity of FMD with serious economic losses due to serotypes A and SAT 2 outbreaks. In an update of FMD by Nwanta and Ojemiren in 1999, serotypes A, O, SAT 1 and SAT 2 were reported as been responsible for disease outbreaks in Northern Nigeria. Antibodies to SAT1 and SAT2 serotypes have also been demonstrated, while Knowles and his colleagues in 2008 reported serotype O and SAT2 from outbreaks. These findings updated the information on the FMD World Reference laboratory, (Pirbright, UK) data base which stated that serotypes O, A, SAT1 and SAT2 have been circulating in Nigeria in the last 54 years (1955-2009). Early detection is essential for effective control and requires rapid, sensitive method of viral serotype diagnosis that is responsible for the outbreak and selection of an appropriate emergency vaccine which is currently unavailable in Nigeria. This challenge forced the local herdsmen to seek for self-help medication (herbs) and a few seek the expertise of Veterinary personnel while others practice the concept called “Dashse” characterized by guarded prognosis due to absence of cross immunity amongst serotypes. Fostered collaboration with development partners as well as neighboring affected countries in areas of control is thus suggested.
Key words: Foot and mouth disease, status, control efforts, Nigeria
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