Scientific Opinion on foot-and-mouth disease in Thrace
Introduction of FMDV into Thrace by wildlife is less likely than introduction due to movement of domestic animals or animal products. Based on a systematic literature review, currently available data of surveillance in wildlife and the epidemiological model, FMD will not be sustainable in the wildlife population in Thrace although limited spread of FMDV in time and space may occur. There are several potential risk factors associated with both introduction and spread of the FMDV infection in the region. The most important of these are biosecurity, movement of live animals and animal products, swill feeding and access to landfill waste. The absence of significant clinical signs in sheep in particular, and the increased levels of livestock movements associated with particular festivals in this region, give rise to specific concerns. Active surveillance for early detection of FMDV infection in wildlife could be a useful addition to an effective passive surveillance system in domestic animals. The EFSAwbFMD model indicated that when the sampling strategy in wildlife was based on hunting alone, the time needed to detect at least one seropositive animal for an FMDV incursion in January and July would be 39 and 13 weeks after incursion of the virus into the population respectively, whilst, when regular sampling was implemented over the whole year, about one month is needed. The precise pathway for the introduction of FMDV into Bulgaria for the 2010/2011 outbreak and its subsequent spread is not known. One possible explanation based on the genetic relationships between viruses in Bulgaria is a single introduction of virus into the country from Anatolian Turkey but it is also possible that the common ancestor was introduced into Turkish Thrace and quickly moved to Bulgaria either through a single introduction or through several introductions from the same source within a relatively short time span.