Volume 62 (2000) Issue 7 Pages 677-679
Since March 1997 two strains of foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus have found their way into Taiwan, causing severe outbreaks in pigs and in Chinese yellow cattle. Outbreaks occurred in March 1997 were caused by a pig-adapted virus strain (O/Taiwan/97) which did not infect other species of cloven-hoofed animals by natural route. The epidemic spread over the whole region of Taiwan within two months and the aftermath was 6,147 pig farms infected and 3,850,746 pigs destroyed. In June 1999, the second strain of FMD virus (O/Taiwan/99) was isolated from the Chinese yellow cattle in the Kinmen Prefecture and in the western part of Taiwan. By the end of 1999, Chinese yellow cattle were the only species infected and those infected cattle did not develop pathological lesions. Seroconversions of serum neutralization antibody and on non-structural protein (NSP) antibodies were the best indicators for infection in non-vaccinated herds. The infected animals, however, excreted infectious levels of virus to infect new hosts. Based on the detection of the specific antibody to FMD virus, and virus isolation from oesophageal-pharyngeal (OP) fluid samples, ten herds of Chinese yellow cattle located in Kinmen and Taiwan were declared to have been infected. During the period of January to March 2000, however, five outbreaks caused by FMD virus similar to the O/Taiwan/99 virus occurred in four prefectures of Taiwan. The infected species included goats, Chinese yellow cattle and dairy cattle. Those outbreaks have caused high mortality in goat kids under two weeks old and also developed typical clinical signs of infection in dairy cattle.