Molecular Epidemiology of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001

Cottam, E.M., Haydon, D.T. , Paton, D.J., Gloster, J., Wilesmith, J.W., Ferris, N.P., Hutchings, G.H. and King, D.P. (2006) Molecular Epidemiology of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001. Journal of Virology, 80(22), pp. 11274-11282. (doi: 10.1128/​JVI.01236-06)

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to quantify the extent to which the genetic diversity of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) arising over the course of infection of an individual animal becomes fixed, is transmitted to other animals, and thereby accumulates over the course of an outbreak. Complete consensus sequences of 23 genomes (each of 8,200 nucleotides) of FMDV were recovered directly from epithelium tissue acquired from 21 farms infected over a nearly 7-month period during the 2001 FMDV outbreak in the United Kingdom. An analysis of these consensus sequences revealed very few apparently ambiguous sites but clear evidence of 197 nucleotide substitutions at 191 different sites. We estimated the rate of nucleotide substitution to be 2.26 × 10−5 per site per day (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.75 × 10<sup>−5</sup> to 2.80 × 10<sup>−5</sup>) and nucleotide substitutions to accrue in the consensus sequence at an average rate of 1.5 substitutions per farm infection. This is a sufficiently high rate showing that detailed histories of the transmission pathways can be reliably reconstructed. Coalescent methods indicated that the date at which FMDV first infected livestock in the United Kingdom was 7 February 2001 (95% CI, 20 January to 19 February 2001), which was identical to estimates obtained on the basis of purely clinical evidence. Nucleotide changes appeared to have occurred evenly across the genome, and within the open reading frame, the ratio of nonsynonymous-to-synonymous change was 0.09. The ability to recover particular transmission pathways of acutely acting RNA pathogens from genetic data will help resolve uncertainties about how virus is spread and could help in the control of future epidemics.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Haydon, Professor Daniel and Cottam, Dr Eleanor
Authors: Cottam, E.M., Haydon, D.T., Paton, D.J., Gloster, J., Wilesmith, J.W., Ferris, N.P., Hutchings, G.H., and King, D.P.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:Journal of Virology
Journal Abbr.:J. Virol.
ISSN:0022-538X
ISSN (Online):1098-5514

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