Molecular characterization of serotype O foot-andmouth disease virus from pigs: Implications for multispecies approach to disease control in Uganda

  • Susan D Kerfua
  • Prossy Isubikalu
  • Rose A Ademun-Okurut
  • Vincent B Muwanika
  • Charles Masembe


In Uganda, where foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) control is mainly done through vaccination, constant monitoring of outbreaks and phylogenetic studies are important in designing effective disease control strategies. These efforts however, have mainly concentrated on cattle since they are the main visible disease hosts. In this study, the molecular characteristics of the VP1 coding sequences of the pigderived FMD virus and its phylogenetic relationship with other historical Ugandan FMD virus sequences are determined. Sixty seven samples were collected from three districts of south western Uganda and subjected to RT-PCR. Partial VP1 capsid protein coding sequences of 12 positive samples were amplified and sequenced using serotype specific primers. Eight sequences were successfully obtained, all of which were from domestic pigs. All samples were confirmed as belonging to serotype O using BLAST search. Phylogenetic analysis of the test sequences with selected sequences, showed a close relatedness (average of 3.77% pair-wise distance) to viruses isolated from central and western Uganda in the years 2005 and 2006 from cattle. These results show that domestic pigs in the western region of Uganda have been infected with the same circulating strain of FMDV and play a potentially important role in FMD maintenance and spread.

Keywords: Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), pig-derived FMDV sequence, persistence, domestic pigs

African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 12(19), pp. 2547-2552

Author Biographies

Susan D Kerfua
National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI), P. O. Box 96, Tororo, Uganda.
Prossy Isubikalu
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda.
Rose A Ademun-Okurut
National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, P. O. Box 513, Entebbe, Uganda
Vincent B Muwanika
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala, Uganda
Charles Masembe
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences, Makerere University, P. O. Box 7062, Kampala,

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1684-5315