A strain of SAT 2 foot-and-mouth disease virus which was experimentally inoculated into the epidermis of the tongues of captive African elephants produced vesicular lesions at the site of inoculation.
After a short period of viraemia, secondary lesions developed in the mouth and on the feet giving rise to extensive tissue damage and the separation of the soles. In spite of close contact there was no spread of the disease to other elephants and by conventional sampling techniques no carrier virus could be demonstrated.
The neutralizing antibody response was of a low order and this finding together with the observations made during the course of the experimental disease are discussed in relation to the possible role of the elephant in the epizootiology of foot-and-mouth disease in Africa.
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