Molecular epidemiology of foot and mouth disease, bluetongue and pest de petites ruminants in Algeria: Historical perspective, diagnosis and control
Molecular tools have become an increasingly important part of studying the epidemiology of infectious agents. These tools have allowed the aetiological agent within a population to be diagnosed rapidly with a greater degree of efficiency and accuracy than conventional diagnostic tools. They have enhanced understanding into the pathogenicity and virulence of the aetiological agent and subsequent deployment of appropriate control strategies. This paper reviews the contribution of molecular epidemiology to the diagnosis and control of some animal diseases such as foot and mouth disease (FMD), buetongue and peste des petites ruminants (PPR) in Algeria. Molecular epidemiology has helped in the characterization of FMDV type O circulating in Algerian cattle in 1999 and in 2014; in 1999, the sequencing analysis showed that the Algerian viruses belong to the West-African topotype with 99% similarity to a strain isolated in Côte d'Ivoire. In 2014, the virus was identified as 0/ME/SA/Ind-2001d lineage which was 99.69% identical to the field strains isolated from earlier Tunisian outbreaks. In a related development, two episodes of bluetongue outbreaks were reported in Algeria; the first with serotype II in 2000 that showed no significant difference with the Tunisian strain reported two months earlier and the second episode involving serotype I epidemiologically linked to South Africa (with 94.3% not similarity) indicating an origin from sub-Saharan Africa. Molecular techniques have also described the PPRV strain implicated in an outbreak in Ghardaïa district, in the centre of Algeria. The strain clustered with lineage IV of PPRV and shared 97 to 99% similarity with the strain implicated in neighboring Morocco and Tunisia.
Key words: Algeria, control, diagnosis, molecular epidemiology, Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), bluetongue (BT), Peste des Petites Ruminants (PPR).