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Foot and Mouth Disease Virus (FMDV) is an acute, highly contagious infection of cloven hooved animals that is present in most parts of the world, often causing extensive epidemics in domestic cattle and swine. The virus can cause persistent infection of the pharynx in cattle, sheep, goats, and other ruminants, and more than 70 species of wild mammals belonging to more than 20 families are susceptible to infection. FMDV is one of the most economically devastating diseases of livestock. The disease is highly contagious and spreads via infected or contaminated animals, products, objects, and people. Animals ingest infected food and are also infected by respiratory aerosols.

Clinical signs in cattle are salivation, anorexia, and lameness caused by painful vesicles in the skin of lips, tongue, gums, notstrils, coronary bands, interdigital spaces, and teats. Vesicles rupture leaving large areas of denuded skin that can become secondarily infected. Decreased milk production also occurs. Because of the large range of animal species affected, the extremely high rate of infectivity, and the fact that virus is shed before clinical signs occur, FMDV is the most feared reportable disease in North American and an outbreak of FMDV would cost billions of dollars in lost production, loss of export markets, loss of meat and dairy products, and loss of animals due to disease eradication measures.

FMDV is an Apthovirus that belongs to the RNA virus family Picornaviridae. The three major capsid proteins of all picornaviruses, VP1, VP2, and VP3, are structurally similar to each other. BMI is applying its Immune Dampening and Refocusing Technology to the FMDV capsid proteins. Biological Mimetics, Inc. (BMI) FMDV veterinary program serves as an animal model for the highly related human rhinovirus application.

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