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2011, Vol. 6 No. 1, Article 80


Incidence, Serotyping and Epidemiology of Foot and Mouth Disease in Kashmir

K. A. Shah, F. A. Jan, Anjum Andrabi* and F. A. Kaloo


Institute of Animal Health and Biological Products,
Department of Animal Husbandry, Kashmir, 190001


*Corresponding Author; e-mail address: aandrabi@gmail.com



A study on the incidence and epidemiological pattern of Foot and Mouth Disease with respect to season, age group, breed and causative serotypes involved in Kashmir valley is reported. The rate of infection was highest (47.12%) in July (Summer) followed by September (39.32 %) (early Autumn). The rate of infection was 17.13% and 4.16% during spring and winter seasons respectively. Crossbred cattle (Jersey x Local hill and Holstein x Local Hill) exhibited severest clinical signs. Non-descript local hill cattle were also affected, however pathological lesions were mild. The average age group of affected cattle with high morbidity and mortality was 0-2 years. Viral typing of the 65 samples of suspected material identified 49 (75.28%) as FMD type O strain, 6 (9.23% ) as type A and 3 (4.67%) as Asia 1 whereas no virus was recovered from 7 (10.77%) cases.


Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), Kashmir, cattle, incidence, epidemiology.


Foot and mouth disease is endemic in India since many centuries. It is prevalent almost in all parts of the country and occurs round the year. The disease exhibits complex epidemiology, existing in seven immunologically distinct serotypes and numerous divergent strains within the serotypes which can manifest continuous genomic and antigenic evolution. Out of the possible seven (O, A, C, Asia1, SAT1, SAT2, & SAT3) only four serotypes O, A, C and Asia 1 were ever recorded in India. Serotype C too has not been recorded in the country since 1995. The economic losses due to FMD has been estimated at US $ 800 million per annum at national level (Bandyopadhyay, 2003). The losses are mainly due to drastic reduction up to 70% in milk yield, reduction in working ability of draught animals and mortality among young animals (Radostits et al). In the state of Jammu and Kashmir, approximately 10.32 million domestic livestock are susceptible to FMD apart from the free-living and captive wild ungulates. Vaccination against FMD is grossly inadequate in the state due to which occasional disease out breaks occur in the endemic zones of the state. The present communication elucidates the incidence and epidemiological pattern of FMD in cattle with respect to season, age group and breed and also identification of serotypes involved in various outbreaks that occurred in the state during last three years.


Ninety six clinical cases of FMD in Cattle were studied during various outbreaks that occurred from year 2007 to 2009 and affecting a large number of animals. A tentative diagnosis of the disease was made on the basis of clinical manifestations. Incidence and epidemiological pattern of the disease with respect to season, age group and breed was studied. For confirmation and serotyping of virus strains, suspected materials (Lingobuccal scrapings and Saliva) collected from sixty five affected animals were sent in 50% glycerine phosphate buffer saline to Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, U.P and Haryana Agricultural University, Hissar.


Affected animals were initially febrile and exhibited typical symptoms of the disease. Drooling of saliva and frothy deposits around the mouth (Fig 1) were seen in 67 animals (69.81%), stomatitis with vesicles on dental pad and tip of the tongue (Fig 2) in 34 (35.40%), ulcerative lesions on mouth with sloughing of skin (Fig 3) in 13 (13.54%), painful ulcerative lesions in inter digital space of forelimbs (Fig 4) particularly associated with lameness in 14 (14.58%) and vesicular lesions on the teat and udder in 10 (9.6%) animals. These observations fall in line with the reports of Shaheen et.al. (2005). Abortion was recorded in three affected crossbred cows. Although the virus does not cross the placenta, cattle may abort as a consequence of high fever (Blood, et.al. loc. Cit). Initial febrile reaction, partial in-appetence and frothy salivation was observed in eleven number of indigenous cattle without any severe oral or foot lesions. Twelve affected calves, below two year of age exhibited mild salivation and high fever 105F for two days prior to death. The worst affected were crossbred cattle (Jersey x Local hill and Holstein x Local Hill), as revealed by the severity of clinical signs. Non-descript local hill cattle were also affected, with least pathological lesions. The greater severity of disease in crossbred cattle than native breeds was consistent with earlier reports of Shaheen et.al loc. cit. The average age group of affected cattle with high morbidity and mortality was 0-2 years. Young calves suffer heavy mortality without showing typical lesions (Blood, et.al. 2006).
Out of ninety six clinical cases of FMD in cattle studied during various endemic outbreaks, 15 clinical cases occurred in late spring and 51 cases were recorded in summer and 30 in Autumn season. Apart from this, 11 sporadic cases were recorded from winter to early spring season. The highest (47.12%) rate of infection was seen in July (Summer) followed by 39.32% in September (early Autumn). During spring season rate of infection due to FMD was 17.13 % whereas the lowest rate of infection 4.16% was recorded in the winter season (Table1). Higher rate of infection during Summer and early Autumn season could be attributed to increased humidity which is an important factor in determining the rate of air bore spread of disease. (Blood et.al. loc. cit.)
Viral typing of 65 samples of suspected material showed type O strain in 49 (75.28%), type A in 6 (9.23%) and Asia 1 in 3 (4.67%) samples (Fig. 5). The virus was not recovered from 7 (10.77%) cases. The prevalence of Hissar type O and Asia 1 in Kashmir valley had previously also been reported by Daftary et. al. (1980).  Blood et al., loc.cit reported that O type is the most common of the three standard strains of FMD. It has been recorded that about 85% of the outbreaks of FMD in India are caused by serotype O, followed by A, which account for about 8 to 10% and the rest due to Asia 1 (Bandyopadhyay loc cit).


  1. Bandopadyay. S. K; Foot and Mouth Diseases Research in India. 2003, IVRI.

  2. Blood, D. C.; Radostits, O. M. and Henderson, J. A., Veterinary Medicine. 2006 English Language Book Society, Bailliere ,Tindal 773-81.

  3. Daftary, R. L. and Rarotra, J. R., Foot and mouth disease in Kashmir. Epidemiological investigation . 1980. Livestock Adviser, Bangalore, India 1980 Vol. 5 No. 12 pp. 41-42

  4. Shaheen, M.; Pampori, Z. A. and Shah, K. A., Studies on Foot and Mouth Disease outbreaks in Kashmir, 2005, Indian Vet. J.; November, 2005; 82:1212-1213.

  5. FMD reviews on www.ec.europa.eu/research/agriculture



Table 1: Seasonal Incidence of FMD and Identified Serotypes


No.of cases recorded

Rate of infection (%)

No of samples tested

Sero type detected

O          A          A1        VND




17.13 %


















39.32 %

























Figure 1

fig 1


Figure 2

fig 2


Figure 3

fig 3


Figure 4

fig 4


Figure 5

fig 5


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