1887

Abstract

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, economically important virus disease of cloven-hoofed animals. The objective of the present study was to examine the early pathogenesis of FMD in pigs by a quantitative time-course study. Under experimental conditions, recipient pigs were infected by contact with donor pigs affected by FMD. Every 24 h from day 1 to day 4 after exposure, two recipient pigs were selected randomly, killed and necropsied. A range of tissues were analysed by a quantitative TaqMan RT–PCR method and by titration of FMD virus on primary bovine thyroid cells. The titres of virus determined by assay in cell culture and calculated from the quantitative TaqMan data correlated strongly (>0·9), thereby establishing the validity of the TaqMan calculations. The data indicated that the replication of virus in the lungs contributes only in small part to airborne virus excretion. Sites in the pharynx, trachea and nasal mucosa are probably more important in that regard. The sites of earliest virus infection and possibly replication in recipient pigs appeared to be in the pharynx (soft palate, tonsil and floor of pharynx). The data indicated that FMD virus replication in pigs is rapid and that the majority of virus amplification occurs in the skin. A model for the progression of infection is proposed, indicating initial spread from the pharyngeal region, through regional lymph nodes and via the blood to epithelial cells, resulting in several cycles of virus amplification and spread.

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2001-04-01
2020-01-28
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