Foot-and-mouth disease in Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus)

Kirsty Officer, Nguyen Thi Lan, Leanne Wicker, Nguyen Thi Hoa, Annemarie Weegenaar, Jill Robinson, Yamaguchi Ryoji, Panayiotis Loukopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious, debilitating, and globally significant viral disease typically affecting cloven-hoofed hosts. The diagnosis of FMD in bears in Vietnam is described. The current study describes a confirmed case of FMD in a bear species, and the clinical signs compatible with FMD in a Malayan sun bear. Thirteen Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) and 1 Malayan sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) were apparently affected. In August 2011, an adult bear became lethargic, and developed footpad vesicles. Over 15 days, 14 out of 17 bears developed similar signs; the remaining 3 co-housed bears and another 57 resident bears did not. All affected bears developed vesicles on all footpads, and most were lethargic for 24–48 hr. Nasal and oral lesions were noted in 6 and 3 cases, respectively. Within 1 month, all looked normal. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, classified as serotype O, and isolated by virus isolation techniques. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated clustering of 3 bear isolates, in a branch distinct from other FMDV type O isolates. The outbreak likely occurred due to indirect contact with livestock, and was facilitated by the high density of captive bears. It showed that Asiatic black bears are capable of contracting FMDV and developing clinical disease, and that the virus spreads easily between bears in close contact.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-713
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Volume26
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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