Serotype-specific transmission and waning immunity of endemic foot-and-mouth disease virus in Cameroon

Laura W. Pomeroy, Ottar N. Bjørnstad, Hyeyoung Kim, Simon Dickmu Jumbo, Souley Abdoulkadiri, Rebecca Garabed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes morbidity and mortality in a range of animals and threatens local economies by acting as a barrier to international trade. The outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001 that cost billions to control highlighted the risk that the pathogen poses to agriculture. In response, several mathematical models have been developed to parameterize and predict both transmission dynamics and optimal disease control. However, a lack of understanding of the multi-strain etiology prevents characterization of multi-strain dynamics. Here, we use data from FMDV serology in an endemic setting to probe strain-specific transmission and immunodynamics. Five serotypes of FMDV affect cattle in the Far North Region of Cameroon.We fit both catalytic and reverse catalytic models to serological data to estimate the force of infection and the rate of waning immunity, and to detect periods of sustained transmission. For serotypes SAT2, SAT3, and type A, a model assuming life-long immunity fit better. For serotypes SAT1 and type O, the better-fitmodel suggests that immunity may wane over time. Our analysis further indicates that type O has the greatest force of infection and the longest duration of immunity. Estimates for the force of infection were time-varying and indicated that serotypes SAT1 and O displayed endemic dynamics, serotype A displayed epidemic dynamics, and SAT2 and SAT3 did not sustain local chains of transmission. Since these results were obtained fromthe same population at the same time, they highlight important differences in transmission specific to each serotype. They also show that immunity wanes at rates specific to each serotype, which influences patterns of local persistence. Overall, this work shows that viral serotypes can differ significantly in their epidemiological and immunological characteristics. Patterns and processes that drive transmission in endemic settings must consider complex viral dynamics for accurate representation and interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0136642
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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