Epidemiology and impact of foot-and-mouth disease in districts located along the Uganda and Tanzania border
The Uganda-Tanzania border area lies within the main risk areas for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) circulation. With the introduction of the progressive control pathway for FMD in eastern Africa, reliable information on FMD epidemiology along the Uganda-Tanzania border area is important in informing the pathway such that, strategic collaborative controls are designed. The scarcity of information on FMD impact in both Uganda and Tanzania, leaves a gap in information critical for justification for national and regional expenditures for FMD intervention. The objectives of the present study were to; (i) determine the spatial and temporal distribution of FMD in districts along the Uganda–Tanzania border between 2011 and 2016 (ii) determine genetic relationships between FMD viruses circulating between 2016 and 2017 and, (iii) ascertain the impact of FMD on income and food security. The study was carried out in the border districts of Missenyi and Kyerwa in Tanzania and Rakai and Isingiro in Uganda. For objective (i), retrospective data was compiled and analysed in R and maps were drawn using QGIS. Results showed that 46% of the 82 recorded outbreaks occurred in sub-counties/wards immediately neighbouring the Uganda-Tanzania border and 69.5% of the outbreaks occurred during dry months. For objective (ii), 43 samples were analysed using PCR and 11 were successfully sequenced. Sequences were analysed and trees drawn using MEGA 7. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP1 coding region showed that serotype O viruses obtained belonged to EA-2 topotype and clustered together with an average sequence divergence of 4.9%. Obtained serotype A viruses belonged to Africa-G1 topotype, formed one cluster with a 7.4% sequence divergence. For objective (iii) data was collected from 288 households using a structured questionnaire. Results showed significant reduction in income from livestock and livestock products sales by over 60%, whereas livestock market prices decreased by nearly half. Forty nine percent of farmers reported calf mortalities and milk consumption in households reduced by 57% in Rakai and Isingiro and 48% in Missenyi. These findings provide information helpful for policy reform, and designing better strategies for FMD control. The study recommends comprehensive regional studies to be implemented in border areas.
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