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March 25_ 2005

Foot and Mouth Disease Serotype Asia 1,
Hong Kong
, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China ,

Short Report

On March 23, 2005, a single outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) serotype Asia 1 in Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China , was reported to the OIE. The 16 affected cattle with clinical lesions of FMD were identified on March 9 at the Sheung Shui slaughterhouse, New Territories. This outbreak is significant because although FMD serotype O is endemic in pigs in Hong Kong, this is the first official report of serotype Asia 1. However, Feng et al. (2003) reported that serotype Asia 1 was detected in cattle in Hong Kong in the 1970’s.

There is only one cattle farm in Hong Kong. Virtually all live cattle in Hong Kong are imported. In 2003, the supply of live cattle consisted of 45,333 head of imported cattle from China and 19 head of local cattle (USDA/FAS).

Outbreaks of FMD serotype O among pigs in Hong Kong are reported every year, particularly during the winter months (December – March). FMD control in Hong Kong relies primarily on vaccination of pigs with a multivalent vaccine containing several strains of FMD serotype O virus likely to be in the region ( Feng et al. 2003). Other control measures include farm inspection, farm hygiene measures, import control on livestock, and slaughter surveillance (Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department, 2001).

The distribution of FMD serotype Asia 1 is so far limited to Asia, including the Far East and the Middle East. A map of the distribution of FMD serotype Asia 1 from 1990-1997 is available at Since 1997, the FAO World Reference Laboratory for Foot and Mouth Disease reported isolation of serotype Asia 1 from samples from the following countries: Afghanistan , Bhutan , Greece , Iran , Malaysia , Myanmar , Pakistan , and Turkey .


OIE notification report.

Feng Q, Chen Xi, Ma Ou, et al. Serotype and VP1 gene sequence of a foot-and mouth disease virus from Hong Kong (2002), Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 30:715-721, 2003.

Measures to Control Foot and Mouth Disease, Legislative Council Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene, Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisherie,s and Conservation Department, March 2001.

FAO World Reference Laboratory for Foot and Mouth Disease.

Hong Kong Livestock and Products Annual, 2004. USDA FAS Gain Report #HK4019.

For more information or comments on this worksheet, please contact Judy Akkina at 970-494-7324.

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