1887

Abstract

The profiles of virus production and excretion have been established for sheep experimentally infected with the UK 2001 strain of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus by inoculation and by direct and intensive contact. Virus replicated rapidly in the inoculated sheep, from which a peak infectivity of airborne virus of 10 TCID per sheep per 24 h was recovered. Around 24 h later, contact-infected sheep excreted airborne virus maximally. Similar amounts of airborne virus were recovered from cattle. The excretion of virus by the sheep under these conditions fell into three phases. First, a highly infectious period of around 7–8 days. Second, a period of 1–3 days soon afterwards when trace amounts of viral RNA were recovered in nasal and rectal swabs. Third, at 4 weeks after exposure, the demonstration, by tests on oesophageal–pharyngeal samples, that 50% of the sheep were carriers. The implications of the results and the variable role that sheep may play in the epidemiology of FMD are discussed.

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2002-08-01
2020-04-09
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