This study aimed at determining the seroprevalence of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in domestic ruminants and at characterizing the virus strains circulating in four areas of Chad (East Batha, West Batha, Wadi Fira and West Ennedi). The study was carried out between October and November 2016. A total of 1,520 sera samples (928 cattle, 216 goats, 254 sheep and 122 dromedaries) were collected randomly for FMD serological analyses. Nine epithelial tissue samples were also collected from cattle showing clinical signs, for FMDV isolation and characterization. Serological results showed an overall NSP seroprevalence of 40% (375/928) in cattle in our sample (95% CrI [19-63]). However, seroprevalences of 84% (27/32), 78% (35/45) and 84% (21/25) were estimated in cattle over 5 years of age in East Batha, West Batha and Wadi Fira, respectively. In cattle under 1 year of age, 67% (18/27) seroprevalence was estimated in Wadi Fira, 64% (14/22) in East Batha and 59% (13/22) in West Batha. It was found that the high seroprevalences have been obtained in areas where pastures are shared by several different herds but also in farms where two to three species (bovine, caprine and ovine) are raised together. ELISA PrioCHECK® FMDV types O and A and in-house solid phase competition ELISA serotyping results showed that the four O, A, SAT1 and SAT2 serotypes have circulated in Chad in 2016. However, the type SAT2 dominated with an overall seroprevalence of 43% (29/67) and was present in the four areas investigated. The phylogenetic analyses of the VP1 coding sequence allowed determining the serotype SAT2 topotype VII, close to viral strains found in Cameroon in 2015 with a similarity of 98.60%.
Keywords: Chad; foot-and-mouth disease virus; molecular characterization; seroprevalence.
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