Detection and seroprevalence of foot and mouth disease in sheep and goats in Punjab, Pakistan.
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious disease of ruminants that causes huge economic losses around the globe. However, the prevalence of FMDV in small ruminants has been overlooked in Pakistan. A seroepidemiological study was conducted in Chakwal, Faisalabad and Khanewal districts of Punjab, Pakistan to determine the prevalence of FMD in sheep and goats. A total 1200 serum samples were collected from sheep (n=180) and goats (n=920) and were subjected to 3ABC non-structural protein enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of antibodies against non-structural proteins of FMD virus. Samples collected from clinical cases were also confirmed for FMDV using RT-PCR. The overall seroprevalence of FMD in sheep and goats was 21% (n=252) while 19.44% (n=35) in sheep and 21.27% (n=217) prevalence was recorded in goats. Highest seroprevalence (32.5%) was observed in southern Punjab (Khanewal), followed by (25.75%) central Punjab (Faisalabad) and the lowest seroprevalence (4.75%) was detected in northern Punjab (Chakwal). There was no statistically significant difference in seroprevalence between sheep and goats. Among different risk factors tested, age and sex were found to be significantly associated with the prevalence of disease while pregnancy and herd type had no association with the prevalence of the disease. This study illustrate that FMD is highly prevalent in sheep and goats in Punjab. Therefore, a broader study is needed to ascertain the countrywide prevalence of FMD in small ruminants.