Exotic Animal Disease Newsletter Volume 3 Issue 1 - June 2009

​FMD South East Asia
from OIE SEAFMD campaign report 2008

This is an image of a map showing SEAFMD member countries - 2008 outbreaks. Red dots: Serotype O; Blue stars: Serotype A; Brown dots; unknown serotype. 

Map of SEAFMD Member Countries - 2008 outbreaks – Red dots: Serotype O; Blue Stars: Serotype A; Brown dots: unknown serotype

Overall, in 2008 there have been some major changes in the number of FMD outbreaks compared to 2007. The SE Asia topotype of serotype O that caused the major epizootics in Vietnam in 2006 had significantly decreased in May 2007 and remained at a lower level throughout 2008.

Serotype O remained the most common serotype. Serotype O continued to cause significant outbreaks in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, and remains endemic in Myanmar.

Though serotype A in Thailand declined in 2007 compared to 2006, it increased again in 2008. It is still controlled in Lao PDR with no outbreaks since March 2007 (Vientiane was hit in November 2006 until February 2007). More serotype A outbreaks were reported in Vietnam compared to 2007, and Malaysia has reported two outbreaks in 2008. Further investigation is still needed to determine the epidemiology of serotype A, including studies to determine why it is absent in Myanmar.

Isolated outbreaks of serotype Asia 1 were reported in June 2007 in Vietnam affecting two provinces in the central and northern part of the country. No other outbreak of serotype Asia 1 has been reported since then in South East Asia.

Cambodia reported many more outbreaks in 2008 compared to 2007, but fewer serotypes were identified. Most of the affected species were cattle and serotype O and A were found.

For the countries closest to Australia, the Philippines is entering its third year without an FMD outbreak and maintains its OIE recognized FMD free zones. Indonesia, Sabah and Sarawak (Malaysia) remain FMD Free.

Australia actively supports the SEAFMD campaign with funds and resources.

Peste des petits ruminants

In Vol. 1 Issue 2 we outlined recent outbreaks of PPR (a Morbillivirus) in the Middle-East.

In July 2008 two outbreaks of PPR were reported for the first time in Morocco. By September 2008, 133 outbreaks had been reported in 29 provinces. The source of infection is not known, but it is likely to be introduced live animals. The virus was of linage IV, an Asian/Middle Eastern virus. A case fatality rate of 42% was reported. Control measures implemented include quarantine and vaccination.

Movement controls in North African countries are difficult to implement as herders follow a nomadic lifestyle.

The outbreaks are being closely monitored by FAO as they pose a risk to the large sheep and goat industries in Algeria and Spain.

During August and September 2008 it was reported that PPR was rapidly spreading in Kenya and Uganda, where losses were reported to be impacting on food supplies.

In January 2009 Tanzania reported the first occurrence of PPR in that country. Case fatality rates of >30% were reported. Likely sources are the introduction of live animals from Kenya and/or Uganda.​

Further information on these diseases can be obtained from the AUSVETPLAN website at: http://www.animalhealthaustralia.com.au

For further information contact Dr. Richard Rubira at the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Canberra Richar​d Rubira or phone (03) 5762 2246

Biosecurity is everyone’s business

In each issue of this newsletter we have highlighted the need for care to be taken when examining animals and when collecting and packaging samples. Recent cases of Hendra infection in horses and humans have served as reminders to the veterinary profession that new diseases are emerging which are dangerous zoonoses. We need to change the way we do business, just as the medical professions had to change after the emergence of AIDS. We need to ensure that the appropriate actions are taken and advice is given to minimise the risk of infection being transmitted to our clients and their animals, our staff and our families. Currently the AVA has formed a taskforce to draft biosecurity guidelines for Australian veterinary practitioners. In the meantime veterinarians should ensure that they include EAD’s in their differential diagnosis and not discount these diseases because “they don’t occur in this area”, that they use appropriate personal protective equipment, that they use appropriate disinfectants and practise good personal hygiene.

OIE Listed diseases

In 2008 the OIE changed the listing of Surra and equine encephalomyelitis (eastern) from the category of “equine diseases” to the category of “multiple species”.

Epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD), an Orbivirus, as are bluetongue and African horse sickness, and spread by Culicoides sp., was included for the first time in the multiple species category, in recognition of it as an emerging disease. Multiple outbreaks in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia due to EHDV-9 and in Israel due to EHDV-7 have been reported in recent years.


African swine fever

In Vol. 1 Issue 2 and Vol.2 Issue 2 of this newsletter we reported that ASF had been reported in the Caucasus. In October 2008 it spread to the Stravropol region and South Ossetia.

In Georgia 4% of the pig population died. Stamping out was not applied as no compensation or personnel were available.

The continued spread of this disease in the Caucasus presents a risk to the rest of Europe.

Q fever in northern Europe

Since 2007 Q fever has become an important public health problem in The Netherlands. In the first 6 months of 2008, incidences as high as 14 cases per 1,000 inhabitants were reported in some towns. The outbreak is in an area with a high concentration of dairy goats. Control measures applied include restrictions on removal of manure from affected farms for 3 months after the last case, restrictions on visitors to these properties and compulsory vaccination of high risk goat and sheep farms.

Equine encephalosis

Further to the report in Vol 1 Issue 2, EE, which has previously been restricted to southern Africa, was diagnosed as the cause of a febrile epizootic afflicting horses across Israel between October 2008 and January 2009.

Risks posed by travelling pets

The BVA Council recently considered the risks posed by travelling pets. Whilst the potential to introduce rabies was the major concern, travelling pets can also introduce other diseases such as leishmaniosis, leptospirosis, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and a number of important parasites.

Whilst Australia has strict import requirements for pets, including pre export treatments and tests, quarantine on arrival and further testing and treatments where appropriate, it is still possible for diseases to enter. In addition, pets travelling within Australia can contract diseases not normally seen in their home environment.

When examining pets do you and your staff question the owners as to the recent travel history of their pets?

Stop Press
BTV-2 was isolated for the first time in Australia from sentinel cattle in the Northern Territory (Douglas Daly and Coastal Plains Research Stations) in April 2008. No clinical disease was noted in the cattle.

OLD disease, new manifestation

22 valuable cattle died after being exhibited at a large fair in the USA in September 2008. The cattle died approximately 60 days after returning home. Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) was shown to be the cause.

At the fair, fans were run to cool sheep in the same enclosure, due to high temperatures and humidity. The cattle that died were in an enclosure near a fan that exhausted air from the sheep enclosure. MCF causes no disease in sheep but they can carry the virus. The high humidity probably aided transmission from the sheep to the cattle.

This episode is a good reminder of the importance of sound biosecurity measures being implemented where livestock from many different sources are congregated at shows and sales. The veterinarians advising those managing such events should take care to ensure species are separated, that effluent is disposed of without risk of cross contamination, that water and feed supplies are not contaminated and that personal biosecurity (washing hands and changing clothes) is practised.

REMEMBER New diseases do occur.  You may be looking at the first case.  EXOTIC DISEASE WATCH HOTLINE 1800 675 888

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