This image of a pig snout demonstrates the effects of foot-and-mouth disease.
Foot-and-mouth disease global initiative
CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) is actively involved in an international alliance aimed at developing new vaccines, diagnostic tests and antiviral drugs for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
4 June 2010 | Updated 12 June 2012
Background and partnerships
FMD is a viral disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals such as pigs, sheep, cattle, goats and deer. While not usually fatal, it can permanently reduce the productivity of affected animals and is economically devastating for livestock producers.
Launched in 2003, the Global FMD Research Alliance (GFRA) is a global alliance of animal research organisations involved in combating FMD.
The GFRA’s mission is to generate and share knowledge to develop tools that can successfully prevent, control and eradicate the disease.
Such tools – including vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics – will not only help countries affected with FMD to control the virus, but will also help FMD-free countries to better manage and reduce the risk of outbreaks.
In the years since its establishment, the GFRA has extended its membership to include all major FMD research laboratories in the world as well as members from FMD-endemic countries.
New diagnostics and vaccines will help FMD-free countries like Australia to better manage and reduce the risk of outbreaks.
A number of large research grants have been awarded to various consortia made up by members of the GFRA.
Members of the GFRA include:
- CSIRO's AAHL
- Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, United Kingdom
- USDA ARS Foreign Animal Disease Research, Plum Island Animals Diseases Centre
- National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease (NCFAD), Winnipeg, Canada
- National Veterinary Institute of the Technical University of Denmark ('DTU Vet')
- Wageningen University and Research Centre, The Netherlands
- ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, South Africa
- Agence francaise de sécurité sanitaire des aliments (ANSES), France
- Instittuto Nacional de Tecnologica Agropecuaria, Argentina
- International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Kenya
- CODA-CERVA, Belgium
- National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service (NVRQS), Korea
- Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Spain
- Laboratoire National Vétérinaire Garoua, Cameroun.
GFRA aims to expand FMD research collaborations worldwide and maximise the use of resources and expertise to achieve its five strategic goals:
- Facilitate research collaborations and serve as a communication gateway for the global FMD research community
- Conduct strategic research to better understand FMD
- Develop the next generation of control measures and strategies for their application
- Determine social and economic impacts of the new generation of improved FMD control
- Provide evidence to inform development of policies for safe trade of animals and animal products in FMD-endemic areas.
GFRA continues to build the alliance by adding new members and reaching out to partners and stakeholders worldwide. It holds at least one general meeting annually and regular scientific meetings to advance its goals and objectives.
The Alliance intends to:
avoid duplication of effort
benefit from individual national investments with maximised use of available resources and expertise
develop technologies for the control of FMD in endemic areas using specialised resources and skills found only in FMD-free areas
improve ability to respond to an outbreak of FMD
improve scientific relationships in international research labs.
Learn more about CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory.