Co-circulation of two extremely divergent serotype SAT 2 lineages in Kenya highlights challenges to foot-and-mouth disease control
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Amongst the SAT serotypes of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the SAT 2 serotype is the most widely distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Kenyan serotype SAT 2 viruses have been reported to display the highest genetic diversity for the serotype globally. This complicates diagnosis and control, and it is essential that patterns of virus circulation are known in order to overcome these difficulties. This study was undertaken to establish patterns of evolution of FMDV serotype SAT 2 in Kenya using complete VP1 coding sequences in a dataset of 65 sequences from Africa, collected over a period of 50 years. Two highly divergent lineages were observed to co-circulate, and occasional trans-boundary spread was inferred, emphasizing the value of constant monitoring and characterization of field strains for improved diagnosis and appropriate vaccine application as well as the need for regional approaches to control.