Foot-and-mouth disease - Quantification and size distribution of airborne particles emitted by healthy and infected pigs

John Gloster, Paul Williams, Claudia Doel, Isabel Esteves, Hugh Coe, Jean Francois Valarcher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is strong evidence to suggest that foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) can be transmitted by airborne virus up to many kilometres from a virus source. Atmospheric dispersion models are often used to predict where this disease might spread. This study investigated whether FMD virus (FMDV) aerosol has specific characteristics which need to be taken into consideration in these models. The characteristics and infectiousness of particles emitted by 12 pigs have been studied pre- and post-infection with O UKG 2001 FMDV. Aerosol generated by individual pigs was found log normally distributed in the range 0.015-20.0 μm with concentrations between 1000 and 10 000 cm-3 at the smallest size and 6 μm. No correlation could be established between the production of virus and animal activity. In general the production of airborne virus closely followed the detection of viraemia in the blood and the presence of clinical symptoms. However, in one instance a pig excreted as much airborne virus as the other animals in the study, but with less virus detected in its blood. The results suggest that there is little merit in including a sophisticated virus release pattern based on physical activity periods or FMDV aerosol size spectrum, together with the appropriate dry deposition calculations, in models used to predict airborne spread of FMD. An estimate of the total daily virus production based on the clinical assessment of disease and virus strain is sufficient as input. Crown Copyright © 2006.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)42-53
    Number of pages11
    JournalVeterinary Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2007


    • Aerosol size and concentration
    • Foot-and-mouth disease
    • Modelling


    Dive into the research topics of 'Foot-and-mouth disease - Quantification and size distribution of airborne particles emitted by healthy and infected pigs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this