Foot-and-mouth disease in elephants in Kerala state of India during 2013

Manoranjan Rout, Nandakumar S. Nair, Biswajit Das, Saravanan Subramaniam, Jajati Keshari Mohapatra, Bramhadev Pattnaik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious acute vesicular disease of the cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs along with more than 70 wildlife species. During the year 2013, FMD outbreaks were recorded in the southern peninsular India comprising the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Besides domestic livestock, captive elephants in Kerala were also affected by FMD. The suspected FMD outbreak in six elephants occurred in Neendoor of Kottayam district, Guruvayoor and Thrissur of Thrissur district in Kerala during November - December 2013. The first clinical signs recorded in the elephants were loss of appetite and lameness with mild fever. Frank lesions were grossly evident on the tongue, palate and inner mucous membrane of trunk with exudates from nostrils. There was copious salivation often appeared to be drooling. Severe lameness led to recumbency. Erosive lesions were also noticed in foot-slipper. The foot with blisters turned to open sores making the animals difficult to stand and walk. Clinical samples (foot/oral/tongue/trunk/nasal epithelium) from the FMD-suspected elephants were collected in 50% phosphate buffered saline/glycerol medium (pH-7.5). Supernatants of the homogenized clinical samples were used in a serotype differentiating antigen detection ELISA and samples found negative were further subjected to multiplex PCR. All clinical samples were found positive for FMD virus (FMDV) serotype O in antigen detection ELISA and in mPCR. The VP1 region based phylogenetic analysis indicated the involvement of O/Middle East-South Asia/Ind2001d sub-lineage of FMDV serotype O, which was also responsible for severe disease in domestic livestock in southern states of India during 2013.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)627-631
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Animal Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Indian Council of Agricultural Research. All rights reserved.


The authors are highly grateful to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for granting funds and facilities for carrying out the work.

FundersFunder number
Indian Council of Agricultural Research


    • Elephant
    • Foot-and-mouth disease
    • India
    • Kerala


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