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Risk factors for emergence of exotic foot-and-mouth disease O/ME-SA/Ind-2001d on smallholder farms in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Miller, Corissa A.J., Young, James R., Nampanya, Sonevilay, Khounsy, Syseng, Singanallur, Nagendrakumar B., Vosloo, Wilna, Abila, Ronello, Hamilton, Samuel A., Bush, Russell D., Windsor, Peter A.
Preventive veterinary medicine 2018 v.159 pp. 115-122
animal production, biosecurity, confidence interval, disease control, economic impact, education, equations, farmers, foot-and-mouth disease, grazing lands, herds, households, livestock, market access, meat, models, odds ratio, poverty, questionnaires, risk factors, serological surveys, small farms, villages, viral nonstructural proteins, viruses, Laos
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a significant endemic transboundary animal disease in Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The disease has been shown to perpetuate the cycle of smallholder poverty through reduced animal production, plus limitations on market access for trading in livestock and their products. Despite significant national and multilateral efforts to control FMD over the past two decades, endemic FMD viruses (FMDVs) continue to circulate in Lao PDR. Further, the threat from new and emerging FMDVs is increasing as transboundary movements in the region intensify in response to increasing regional demand for meat. Although the economic impacts of FMD on smallholder farmers in Lao PDR are significant, studies investigating household-level risk factors for FMD are lacking. Following an outbreak of a novel FMDV (O/ME-SA/Ind2001d) in Lao PDR in 2015, a questionnaire and serological study were conducted in Naxaythong District to identify household-level risk factors associated with this outbreak, as well as endemic circulating viruses in the outbreak area. Data were analysed using a multivariable generalised estimating equation (GEE) model with a logit link function and associations were calculated as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI95%). After adjusting for other variables, the practice of quarantining new livestock for a minimum of two weeks prior to introduction to a herd was found to be a significant protective factor during the 2015 outbreak (OR 0.225, CI95% [0.06, 0.88], p-value 0.003). In addition, households owning one or more animals with titres to the non-structural proteins of FMDV, indicating prior infection, had 5.5 times the odds (CI95% [6.16, 49.11], p-value <0.001) of sharing communal grazing land with neighbouring villages. These findings indicate that implementing basic on-farm biosecurity and improved husbandry measures to minimise FMDV circulation at the household level are important and reinforce the need to enhance the education of smallholder farmers in infectious disease control.