Virus / Picornaviridae / Foot and Mouth Disease Virus / Detailed Viral Descriptions:

< >  PHYSICAL SUSCEPTIBILITY with literature reports for Foot and Mouth Disease Virus: Use sub-contents list below, or simply scroll down the page to view findings.


Editorial Comment (Editorial Overview Text Replicated on Overall Disease page - Foot and Mouth Disease virus)

FMD virus tends to be insensitive to cold and sensitive to heat. It is susceptible to pH changes away from neutral. At relative humidities over 60%, virus may survive for at least several hours in airborne droplets.

(B47, B58, B207, B209, B216, B396, B495.3.w3 - full text provided, J3.83.w1, J19.74.w1, J19.124.w2, J35.125.w1, J39.95.w1, J63.14.w1, J64.10.w1, J72.41.w1, W18.Apl01.sib1)

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Source Information
  • Relatively insensitive to cold; survives longest in conditions of low temperatures (B58, B207).
    • Can survive in uncooked meat for long periods, particularly if the meat is quick-frozen, which reduces production of acid in the meat. (B396)
  • Variation between strains in resistance to temperature stress (J72.41.w1).
  • Relatively susceptible to heat (B207).
    • At optimal pH (7.2 - 7.6) FMD virus is recorded to survive "1 year at 4C; 8 - 10 weeks at 22C; 10 days at 37C; less than 30 minutes at 56C (W18.Apl01.sib1).
    • 90% deactivation of virus after: 3 seconds at 61 C, 20 seconds at 55 C, one hour at 49 C, seven hours at 43 C, 21 hours at 37 C, 11 days at 20 C, 18 weeks at 4 C (J39.95.w1).
    • 56 C for 30 minutes "is sufficient to destroy most strains" (J72.41.w1).
    • May remain infective in suspension at 37C for as long as ten days, at 22C 8-10 weeks, more than one year at 4C and "almost indefinitely" at temperatures below freezing (J72.41.w1).
    • Small proportions of the virus population may be resistant for much longer than expected to inactivation by heating to 55 C and 61 C (J39.95.w1).
    • Some infectivity may be retained unexpectedly after heating, for example after six hours at 80C; retention of infectivity was not shown following heating to 85C for six hours (J63.14.w1).
    • Destroyed by boiling if free of tissue; autoclaving under pressure is more reliably effective if heat is being used for disinfection purposes (B207)
    • FMDV in droplets allowed to dry on a surface (e.g. paper, or a cover slip, may be protected by the concentration of proteins in the virus suspension, enabling them to survive heat which would kill the virus in suspension. Virus in suspension was not infective (as indicated by inoculation of cell culture) after treatment for seven days at 37 C, two days at 50 C or 3.75 minutes at 80 C. For virus suspension air-dried on cover slips, titres were reduced after drying, but to variable extents, with Type A appearing more stable than types O, C or Asia-1; heating at 37 C for 14 days, 50 C for two days or 80 C for an hour did not completely inactivate three of the four virus types. (J3.143.w9)
  • "If protected by mucus or faeces and shielded from strong sunlight, picornaviruses are relatively heat stable at usual ambient temperatures." (B216)
  • In milk, because virus shed from infected mammary glands is incorporated into milk micelles and fat droplets, the virus is partially protected against heating and a portion of the viral population may be viable after pasteurisation at 72C for 15 seconds. (J64.10.w1), and even after heating at 88C for 50 seconds (J35.125.w1).
    • High temperature short-time (HTST) pasteurization at 72 C for 15 seconds (as mandated by the Pasteurized Milk Ordinance of the FDA (USA), 2003) in a flow pasteurizer eliminated up to 6 log10 FMDV in skimmed or whole milk, as shown by cell culture, but residual viral infectivity could be detected by inoculation into steers. Increasing the time for which the milk was heated up to 36 seconds, or heating up to 80 C or 95 C, did not entirely eliminate infective virus from whole milk as shown by inoculation of steers. (J295.90.w1)

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Source Information Foot-and-mouth disease virus is most stable at and near neutral pH (B495.3.w3 - full text provided, J63.14.w1).
  • Susceptible to pH changes:
    • Optimal virus survival recorded as between pH 7.2 and 7.6. There is rapid destruction above 9 and below 6. The effect of pH on virus survival is enhanced at higher temperatures and reduced at lower temperatures. (W18.Apl01.sib1)
    • Stable at 4C at pH 7-7.5 for long periods (18 weeks) (J39.95.w1, J63.14.w1, B47)
    • Most stable at pH 7.4-7.6 (J72.41.w1).
    • Slightly less stable at pH 8 to pH 9 (B47)
    • Ten-fold loss of infectivity every 14 hours at 4C, at pH 6.5 and at pH 10 (J39.95.w1, B47)
    • Only two minutes of survival at pH 6. (B495.3.w3 - full text provided)
    • May survive at pH 6.7-9.5 at temperatures below 4C (J72.41.w1).
    • Rapid inactivation at pH below 5.0 or above 11.0 (J72.41.w1).
    • 90% inactivation at pH6 after one minute at 4C (J39.95.w1, B47);
    • 90% inactivation at pH5 after one second at 4C (J39.95.w1, B47); one-millionth part of the virus population remains infective for at least 30 minutes. (J39.95.w1).
    • No virus resistant to pH4 (J39.95.w1).
    • inactivated by 4% sodium carbonate, 1% sodium hydroxide, formalin, 0.2% citric acid (B58).
    • Labile at pH below 6 and above 9 (B209).
    • 2% citric acid, 4% washing soda (Na2CO3).
    • Citric acid is more liable to neutralisation by biological materials than is washing soda (B209).
  • 5 log reduction in less than 15 seconds at 20C or 4C with citric acid at pH 4.0. (J3.83.w1)
  • In milk, a portion of the viral population may still be viable after acidification to pH 4.6 (J64.10.w1)
  • There is variation between FMD virus strains in resistance to pH stress (J72.41.w1).
  • Rapid inactivation of infected milk at pH 4.0 or 12.0,but slower at 5.8 or 11.0 (J35.125.w1).
  • In meat, the virus may be inactivated by developing acidity in rigor mortis. However, if meat is quick-frozen, preventing acid formation, the virus can survive. It may then be destroyed by resumption of acid formation once the meat is thawed. (B396)

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Sunlight (Visible and UV)

Source Information
  • Sensitive to sunlight (J63.14.w1).
  • Relatively photoresistant (J19.74.w1).
  • Sunlight has "little or no direct effect on infectivity" (J72.41.w1).
  • Effect of sunlight is indirect, by drying and increased temperature (J72.41.w1).

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High-energy Ionising Radiation (Artificial UV, X-Ray and Gamma rays)

Source Information
  • Irradiation may be used to inactivate FMDV. Use of γ irradiation at 40 kGy was sufficient to inactivate FMDV dried on cover slips to below the level detectable by cell culture inoculation (J3.143.w9).

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Osmotic Potential (Dehydration/Water Excess)

Source Information
  • Under conditions of high humidity, aphthoviruses may remain viable for several hours (B216).
  • Resistant to drying (B47).
  • Susceptible to desiccation (J63.14.w1).
  • Survives longest in conditions of high relative humidity and low temperatures (B58).
  • Survival of airborne virus is good (virus is stable) at more than 55% (J19.124.w2) or 60% (J72.41.w1) humidity, and poor below this level.
  • In water which may be contaminated by e.g. shreds of infected epithelium, virus may survive for as long as 67 days (shorter time in summer) (J63.14.w1).
  • Note: FMDV within a protein-rich fluid (e.g. milk), which is then air- dried onto a surface, may retain infectivity and be more resistant to heat-inactivation than virus within a liquid (J3.143.w9). 

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