János Mészáros and Tibor Soós:
The epidemiological situation of the Foot-and Mouth Disease and possibilities of the prevention
Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) is one of the most devastating diseases of farm animals. On the occasion of the present outbreak of FMD in the United Kingdom (UK) the basic elements of the disease are discussed.
Although the disease rarely leads to death, the productivity losses and the indirect losses due to the trading embargoes can be crippling to the affected country. The history of the highest outbreaks occurred in Hungary in the past centuries are briefly discussed.
The different ways of the prevention and the eradication of the disease are analysed. In FMD-free countries the rapid diagnosis followed by slaughter and disposal of infected animals. In countries where the disease is endemic the stamping out policy cannot be applied due to the economical reasons. In these countries vaccines are administered to immunise animals. In Hungary the vaccine production has been implemented in the sixties and the preventive vaccination of cattle has been lasted until the late eighties. The risks and disadvantages of the preventive vaccination are discussed. The residual infectivity of vaccines, the short period of duration of immunity and the high cost of vaccination are the most important reasons of the discontinuation of vaccination in the country. Hungary however has an antigen bank comprising five different serotypes of the virus.