Isolation, identification and retrospective study of foot-and-mouth disease virus from affected Mithun (Bos frontalis) in north-eastern India.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a contagious disease of cloven-hoofed animals that causes substantial and perpetual economic loss. Apart from the contagious nature of the disease, the FMD virus can establish in a "carrier state" among all cloven-hoofed animals. The Mithun (Bos frontalis), popularly called the "Cattle of Mountain," is found in the geographically isolated, hilly region of north-east India: Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram. Despite the geographical inaccessibility, infection by FMD virus has emerged as the single most devastating disease among Mithun after the eradication of rinderpest from this region. Samples from outbreaks of FMD in Mithun were analysed by sandwich ELISA, multiplex RT-PCR (MRT-PCR) and liquid-phase blocking enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and isolated in the BHK-21 cell line. The results indicate the presence of FMDV serotype "O." The sequencing and molecular phylogenies have revealed close relationships in the lineage of type "O" isolates from Bangladesh. The findings will provide useful information for further research and development of a sustainable programme for the progressive control of FMD in the Mithun population.