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The development of sampling techniques to detect FMDV RNA from the environment will extend the tool kit used for monitoring this pathogen. ABSTRACT: Environmental sampling allows disease surveillance beyond regular routine analysis of suspected clinical cases, providing additional information on the dissemination of a pathogen in a particular region. Foot-and-mouth disease virus, which affects cloven-hoofed cattle in several countries, is a highly spread livestock pathogen. Countries with FMDV face severe trade constraints, and infections can have long-term impacts on the productivity of affected animals. The virus-intactment and secretions of infected individuals promotes transmission, but it also provides a means for noninvasive sample collection, facilitating diagnostic and surveillance activities. We have presented environmental sampling techniques that have been applied in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal, where FMDV is endemic. To demonstrate successful detection of FMDV RNA from the environment, environmental swabs obtained from sites with documented FMD outbreaks were used. The development of methods that can reliably detect FMDV RNA in the environment is critical, considering that this possibility extends the toolbox available for monitoring this disease. Similar protocols have already been used to eliminate polio, and with FMDV, such procedures could be easily deployed in the event of an outbreak to provide more funding for testing that will ease pressure on veterinary services. The development of sampling techniques to detect FMDV RNA from the environment will extend the tool kit used to detect this pathogen.
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