Comparative study of experimental Foot-and-Mouth Disease in cattle (Bos indicus) and buffaloes (Bubalis bubalus)

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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is one of the most contagious diseases affecting wide range of host species with variable severity and decreased productivity. The present study was undertaken to compare the clinical and leucocytic changes in indigenous Indian cattle and buffaloes experimentally infected with FMD virus (FMDV) Asia 1. A mild type of disease was observed in the cattle, more so in buffaloes infected with FMDV. Difference in terms of type, site and healing of lesion was observed between cattle and buffaloes. Foot lesions were more common than tongue in buffaloes, which were mainly evident in bulb of the heel in contrast to interdigital foot lesions in cattle. Further, FMDV infection induced a transient moderate leucopenia with lymphopenia in both cattle and buffaloes, but monocyte levels diverged. Relationship between the raised body temperature, leucocytic changes and lesion development was observed. Microscopic changes were observed in the keratinized epithelium of tongue and foot. The findings of the present study indicated the need to investigate the early leucocytic changes in cattle and buffaloes in depth for better understanding of the disease process.

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