Vaccine matching and antigenic variability of foot-and-mouth disease virus serotypes O and A from 2018 Ethiopian isolates
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is highly infectious, limits live animal trade, and affects ranchers owing to the loss of animal yield. The present study was designed to perform vaccine matching for field FMD virus isolates from clinically diseased cattle and assess the antigenic properties of the field isolates against the current vaccine strains used for vaccine production at the National Veterinary Institute, Ethiopia. Both sequencing and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactions were used for distinguishing between the viral strains. To evaluate the serological relationship of the vaccine strain with these field isolates (r1 value), in vitro cross-neutralization was performed using ETH/6/2000 and ETH/38/2005 antisera. Infectious field FMD viral samples represented serotypes A and O. Sequence analysis showed that serotype A VP1/1D possessed amino acid variability at positions 28 and 42 to 48, 138, 141, 142, 148, 156, 173, and 197 compared with the ETH/6/2000 vaccine strain, whereas serotype O possessed amino acid variability at positions 45, 48, 138, 139, 140, 141, and 197 compared with the ETH/38/2005 vaccine strain. Based on the one-dimensional virus neutralization test, serotypes A and O demonstrated antigenic matching of up to 13/17 (76.47%) with the vaccine strain, except for the isolates ETH/40/2018, ETH/48/2018, ETH/55/2018, and ETH/61/2018, which had r-values less than 0.3. Therefore, the currently used vaccine strains ETH/38/2005 for serotype O and ETH/6/2000 for serotype A protected against all and most field viruses characterized as serotypes O and A, respectively, and amino acid residue variation was observed in different FMD virus B-C loops, G-H loops, and C-termini of VP1 at sites 1 and 3 in both serotypes.