Acta vet. Brno 2003, 72: 648-651
Foot and mouth disease: facing the new dilemmas. OIE Scientific and Technical Review, Volume 21 (3), December 2002, 498 pages. ISBN 92-9044-568-8 and ISSN 0253-1933
This excellent compendium of 42 papers, full of rich useful information, while not providing an explicit answer to this simple but multifaceted question, attempts to provide the readers with the facts on the various interacting issues and the answers that need to be found in improving the management of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in future. Because there are no simple solutions there are differing opinions which, to some extent are reflected by the views of different authors. Papers are devoted to the behaviour and impact of FMD in different regions of the world – one of the reasons why it presents a truly global problem, its economic effects in both the developed and developing worlds as well as technical issues related to epizootiology and control of the disease.
The publication was edited by Dr G.R. Thomson and is composed from 11 blocks of different topics. The first bloc of very informative papers is reviewing the world FMD status and approaches to control and eradication covering separately South America, Sub-Sahara Africa, Middle East and North Africa, East Asia, South-East Asia, Europe and Central Asia (experience of Central and Eastern Europe, at least for comparison of methods and results, is missing as usually).
on FMD control in
Following paper on FMD risk management of international trade deals only with emergency preparedness, passing by the key problem – country protection against FMD introduction. Excellent papers of top level specialists such as R.P. Kitching, P. Sutmoller, R. Casas Olascoaga describe the effect of FMD infection, in particular clinical variations in different animal species, sub-clinical infections and carriers (incl. differentiation from vaccinated animals) as implication for FMD control which is of extraordinary practical importance for field diagnosis and control.
the bloc entitled “Response to emergencies” dealing with predictability of FMD spread and decision-support tools for FMD
control, special attention merits the paper of R. S. Morris et al. about EPIMAN software,
in particular following statements: “The authors describe the tools which can
be employed to minimize the impact of a disease incursion, using the example of
FMD”. “The original version of EPIMAN, developed in the early 1990s, was focused
entirely on FMD”. “The tool to calculate virus production from each infected
farm.” (!?!). “All the data required is also needed for management of the
epidemic, and in the 2001 epidemic in the
Very interesting is information of A.I. Donaldson and S. Alexandersen that the peak excretion of airborne virus by sheep occurs before the clinical phase of disease which could seriously complicate FMD investigations and measures. Following papers deal with FMD inactivated vaccines, their banks and use in zoo animals, endangered species and exceptionally valuable animals. Five papers are devoted to economic aspects of FMD providing methods and data on control cost and losses in different parts of the world. Unfortunately, estimates on losses caused to neighbouring and other FMD free countries due to emergency preventive measures (reduced trade and tourism, extra border sanitary measures, etc.) are missing at all.
papers describes FMD control methods in different
countries. Of particular importance is the contribution “Control of FMD: lesson
from the experience of the outbreak in Great Britain in 2001” written by J.M.
Scudamore and D.M. Harris describing in details this panzootic. There it can be
found surprising information: “infection being present but unreported for at
least three weeks before the first case was identified” (confirmation on
One of the best papers is written by M.M. Rweyemamu
and V.M. Astudillo “Global perspectives for foot and mouth disease control”
giving attention also to one of the most important factor in animal disease
control, i.e. public veterinary services: “Since the mid-1980s structural
adjustment programmes in developing countries have led to a demand for the
privatization of veterinary services, thus aiming at drastically diminishing
the role of the state in these activities. Surveillance, early warning,
laboratory diagnostic services, planning, regulation and management of disease
control programme, as well as ensuring the quality and safety of animal
products were secondary considerations. The chain of veterinary command that
required notification of disease outbreaks enabling a response to disease
emergency and which also ensured the management of national disease control
programme, was often dismantled.” These statements of leading UN specialists
are valid also for the majority of other countries, including
of following block are describing environmental impacts, mainly the problems
with carcass disposal. In
This publication is of value to veterinarians and other animal health professionals, particularly those involved in management of emergency animal diseases, agriculture economists, consumers, environmentalists involved in farming issues and those concerned with the impacts of animal diseases on farmers and their livelihoods.
Prof.MVDr Václav K o u b a , DrSc.