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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)


  • Family: Picornaviridae, subfamily:, genus: Aphthovirus
  • Notifiable disease: Yes


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)Foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus is one of two members of the Aphthovirus genus, within the family Picornaviridae. FMD virus is antigenically heterogeneous and seven serotypes are recognised: O, A, C, ASIA1, SAT1, SAT2, SAT3 (SAT = Southern African Territories). Furthermore, within each serotype, there is considerable antigenic diversity. This is particularly true for type A.
FMD is a highly contagious and devastating disease of livestock. All species of cloven-hoofed animals are susceptible. Financial losses as a result of FMD can be significant.
There are direct losses due to deaths in young animals, loss of milk, loss of meat and a decrease in productive performance. The costs associated with eradication or control can be high and, in addition, there are indirect losses due to the imposition of trade restrictions.


FMD is endemic at high prevalence throughout most of Africa and the Middle East (type O and A). In southern Africa the disease is mostly confined to wildlife in national parks (SAT types). FMD is endemic in Central and South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent and probably in China (type O, A and Asia). Japan (2000), Korea (2000) and Taiwan (1997-2000) have long been free until type O PanAsia outbreaks occurred.Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)


Diagnosis of the disease is made initially on clinical grounds and subsequently confirmed in the laboratory by classical virological, serological or molecular biological methods. Preferred samples for virus detection are epithelium, vesicular fluid and serum or EDTA-blood (virus isolation, Ag-ELISA, real-time RT-PCR).


Vaccination is the most effective means of controlling losses from FMD but will often have to be combined with stamping-out.

The CODA-CERVA and its partners of the Rega Institute (KUL) and Okapi Sciences perform research to develop effective and selective anti-viral molecules that can be used alternatively or complementary to (emergency) vaccination or stamping-out.



fivre aphteuse virusROLE OF CODA-CERVA :


CODA-CERVA is the Belgian National Reference Laboratory for Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD).

- FAO Reference Center

- OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Collaborating Centre for Validation, Quality Assessment and Quality Control of Diagnostic Assays and Vaccine Testing for Vesicular Diseases in Europe

- Specific information for diagnostics (matrix, tests)
- Virus isolation, Ag-ELISA, real-time RT-PCR: epithelium, vesicular fluid and serum (or EDTA-blood)
- Serology: serum


The laboratory has the necessary authorizations and facilities to isolate the virus under safe conditions. The personnel are experienced in serological tests, virus isolation and molecular diagnosis of FMD virus from clinical samples.

Development of diagnostic tools and alternative in vitro tests for vaccine control.

Development of antiviral drugs that can be used as an alternative or complementary tool for (emergency) vaccination and stamping out.

TEAM OF SCIENTISTS :fivre aphteuse

Kris De Clercq
David Lefebvre

Ilse de Leeuw
Andy Haegeman

Annebel De Vleeschauwer
Frank Vandensbussche (mass molecular diagnosis)





- Lefebvre DJ, De Vleeschauwer AR, Goris N, Kollanur D, Billiet A, Murao L, Neys J., De Clercq K (On-line). Proof-of-concept for the inhibition of foot-and-mouth disease virus replication by the antiviral drug 2'-C-methylcytidine in severe combined immunodeficient mice. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2013 Mar 11. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12069. [Epub ahead of print], PMID:23480064


-Willems T, Lefebvre DJ, Goris N, Diev VI, Kremenchugskaya SR, Paul G, Haas B, De Clercq K. (2012). Characteristics of serology-based vaccine potency models for foot-and-mouth disease virus. Vaccine, 30(40):5849-5855.

-De Vleeschauwer A, Lefebvre D, De Clercq K. (2012). Gebruik van antivirale middelen in de diergeneeskunde. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift, 81 (5), 255-265.


- Willems T, Lefebvre DJ, Neyts J, De Clercq K. (2011). Diagnostic performance and application of two commercial cell viability assays in foot-and-mouth disease research. J Virol Methods. 173(1):108-14.
Garland A.J.M., De Clercq K. (2011). Cattle, sheep and pigs vaccinated against foot and mouth disease: does trade in these animals and their products present a risk of transmitting the disease? Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., 30 (1), 189-206.
- Lefebvre DJ, Neyts J., De Clercq K., Development of a Foot-and-Mouth disease infection model in severe combined immunodeficient mice for the preliminary evaluation of antiviral drugs. Transboundary emerg dis, 2010,57(6),430-33

- Robiolo B, La Torre J, Maradei E, Beascoechea CP, Perez A, Seki C, Smitsaart E, Fondevila N, Palma E, Goris N, De Clercq K, Mattion N. Confidence in indirect assessment of foot-and-mouth disease vaccine potency and vaccine matching carried out by liquid phase ELISA and virus neutralization tests. Vaccine. 2010;28(38):6235-41.

- De Clercq K & Willems T. (2010). Validation of methods to Reduce, Refine, and Replace animal testing for diseases for which antibody is responsible for and a predictor of protection. In: Practical Alternatives to Reduce Animal Testing in Quality Control of Veterinary Biologicals in the Americas, Shudel A & Lombard M (eds), Fundacion PROSAIA, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2010, 78-88.

- Van Vaerenbergh B, Koenen F., Pauwels K., Quanten K., Boyen F., De Clercq K., Desmecht D, Thiry J., Herman P. Methology of the biological risk classification of animal pathogens in Belgium. Rev sci tech OIE, 2010,29(3),513-22


- Goris, N., Eblé, P.L., de Jong, M.C.M., De Clercq, K. (2009). Quantifying foot-and-mouth disease virus transmission rates using published data. ALTEX, 26(1):52-4.
- Mattion N, Goris N, Willems T, Robiolo B, Maradei E, Beascoechea CP, Perez A, Smitsaart E, Fondevila N, Palma E, De Clercq K, La Torre J. (2009). Some guidelines for determining foot-and-mouth disease vaccine strain matching by serology. Vaccine, 27(5):741-7.
- Goris N, Vandenbussche F, Herr C, Villers J, Van der Stede Y and De Clercq K. (2009). Validation of two real-time RT-PCR methods for foot-and-mouth disease diagnosis: RNA-extraction, matrix effect, uncertainty of measurement and precision. J. Vir. Meth., 160(1-2):157-62.
- Goris, N., De Clercq, K. (2009). Fit-for-purpose vaccine potency testing for animal diseases: challenging a regulatory system. Pharmeuropa SN, 21,1,47-48.


- De Clercq K, Goris N, Barnett PV, MacKay DK. (2008a). The importance of quality assurance/quality control of diagnostics to increase the confidence in global foot-and-mouth disease control. Transbound Emerg Dis., 55(1):35-45.
- De Clercq K, Goris N, Barnett PV, MacKay DK. (2008b). FMD vaccines: reflections on quality aspects for applicability in European disease control policy. Transbound Emerg Dis., 55(1):46-56.
- Van Dessel W, Vandenbussche F, Staes M, Goris N, De Clercq K. (2008). Assessment of the diagnostic potential of immuno-RCA in 96-well ELISA plates for foot-and-mouth disease virus. J Virol Methods., 147(1):151-6.
- Goris N, Maradei E, D'Aloia R, Fondevila N, Mattion N, Perez A, Smitsaart E, Nauwynck HJ, La Torre J, Palma E, De Clercq K. (2008). Foot-and-mouth disease vaccine potency testing in cattle using homologous and heterologous challenge strains: Precision of the "Protection against Podal Generalisation" test. Vaccine, 26(27-28):3432-3437.
- Goris, N., Willems, T., Diev, V.I., Merkelbach-Peters, P., Vanbinst, T., Van der Stede, Y., Kraft, H.-P., Zakharov, V.M., Borisov, V.V., Nauwynck, H.J., Haas, B., De Clercq, K. (2008). Indirect foot-and-mouth disease vaccine potency testing based on a serological alternative. Vaccine, 26(31): 3870-3789.

- Dekker A, Sammin D, Greiner M, Bergmann I, Paton D, Grazioli S, de Clercq K, Brocchi E. (2008). Use of continuous results to compare ELISAs for the detection of antibodies to non-structural proteins of foot-and-mouth disease virus. Vaccine, 26(22):2723-32.
- Goris N, Vandenbussche F, De Clercq K. (2008). Potential of antiviral therapy and prophylaxis for controlling RNA viral infections of livestock. Antiviral Res., 78(1):170-8.
- Engel B, Buist W, Orsel K, Dekker A, de Clercq K, Grazioli S, van Roermund H. (2008). A Bayesian evaluation of six diagnostic tests for foot-and-mouth disease for vaccinated and non-vaccinated cattle. Prev Vet Med., 86: 124-138.


- Goris N, De Palma A, Toussaint JF, Musch I, Neyts J, De Clercq K. (2007). 2'-C-Methylcytidine as a potent and selective inhibitor of the replication of foot-and-mouth disease virus. Antiviral Res, 73(3):161-168.

- Goris N, Merkelbach-Peters P, Diev VI, Verloo D, Zakharov VM, Kraft HP, De Clercq K. (2007). European Pharmacopoeia foot-and-mouth disease vaccine potency testing in cattle: Between test variability and its consequences. Vaccine Vaccine, 25(17):3373-3379.
- Goris N, Praet N, Sammin D, Yadin H, Paton D, Brocchi E, Berkvens D & De Clercq K. (2007). Foot-and-mouth disease non-structural protein serology in cattle: use of a Bayesian framework to estimate diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of six ELISA tests and prevalence in the field. Vaccine, 25(41):7177-96.
- Toussaint JF, Assam P, Caij B, Dekeyser F, Knapen K, Goris N, Imberechts H, Molenberghs G, Mintiens K, De Clercq K. (2007). Uncertainty of measurement for competitive and indirect ELISAs. Rev Sci Tech., 26(3):649-56.


- Brocchi E, Bergmann IE, Dekker A, Paton DJ, Sammin DJ, Greiner M, Grazioli S, De Simone F, Yadin H, Haas B, Bulut N, Malirat V, Neitzert E, Goris N, Parida S, Sorensen K, De Clercq K. (2006). Comparative evaluation of six ELISAs for the detection of antibodies to the non-structural proteins of foot-and-mouth disease virus. Vaccine 24(47-48):6966-6979.
- Paton DJ, De Clercq K, Greiner M, Dekker A, Brocchi E, Bergmann I, Sammin DJ, Gubbins S, Parida S. (2006). Application of non-structural protein antibody tests in substantiating freedom from foot-and-mouth disease virus infection after emergency vaccination of cattle. Vaccine 24(42-43):6503-6512. Review.

- Ferris NP, King DP, Reid SM, Hutchings GH, Shaw AE, Paton DJ, Goris N, Haas B, Hoffmann B, Brocchi E, Bugnetti M, Dekker A, De Clercq K. (2006). Foot-and-mouth disease virus: a first inter-laboratory comparison trial to evaluate virus isolation and RT-PCR detection methods. Vet Microbiol 117(2-4):130-140.


- Goris, N., De Clercq, K. (2005). Foot-and-mouth disease solid phase competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay quality assurance/quality control. Part I: Quality assurance: Development of secondary and working standards Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz. 24 (3): 995-1004.
- Goris, N., De Clercq, K. (2005). Foot-and-mouth disease solid phase competition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay quality assurance/quality control. Part II: Quality control: comparison of two charting methods to monitor assay performance. Rev. Sci. Tech. Off. Int. Epiz. 24 (3): 1005-1016.