Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

The epidemiological characteristics of the 2007 foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in Sarpang and Zhemgang Districts of Bhutan

Dukpa, K., Robertson, I.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752 and Ellis, T.M. (2011) The epidemiological characteristics of the 2007 foot-and-mouth disease epidemic in Sarpang and Zhemgang Districts of Bhutan. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 58 (1). pp. 53-62.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


This study was undertaken to compare the epidemiological characteristics of the 2007 foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in two districts of Sarpang and Zhemgang in Bhutan. Zhemgang district recorded a significantly higher cumulative incidence in all species (26.9%) as well as for cattle (29.3%) compared to Sarpang (6.5% and 7.4%, respectively). The case fatality for cattle in Zhemgang (14.1%) was significantly higher than in Sarpang (3.3%). A total of 404 cattle and 73 pigs died of FMD in Zhemgang, whereas only 21 cattle died in Sarpang. Although all four species were affected in Sarpang, no sheep or goats were affected in Zhemgang. Spatiotemporal analyses showed the existence of four significant clusters, a primary one in Sarpang and three secondary clusters in Zhemgang. The virus belonged to the PanAsia strain of the Middle-East South-Asia topotype (O serotype), and the strain was closely related to the PanAsia strain that circulated in Bhutan during the 2003/2004 outbreaks. The severity of FMD infection in Zhemgang district could be attributed to low vaccination coverage (36.5% in 2006 when compared to 87.6% in Sarpang), inadequate biosecurity, poor nursing care of the sick animals and delayed reporting to the livestock centre. This study highlights the ability of the PanAsia strain of the O serotype to cause unprecedented morbidity and mortality, especially in a naïve population. The study also highlights the benefits of maintaining good herd immunity in the susceptible population, through adequate vaccination coverage, to minimize the severity of infection and limit the spread of disease from infected to non-infected herds.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Blackwell-Wiss.-Verl
Copyright: © 2010 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.
Item Control Page Item Control Page