In this work, the activity of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) virus in pig population in Gboko and Makurdi local government areas of Benue state, Nigeria, was investigated using the PRIOCHECK FMDV- 3ABC non-structural proteins ELISA (NSP-ELISA). This ELISA test was capable of descriminating between antibodies induced by the field virus and those induced in response to vaccination. The results showed that of the 338 serum samples tested, 42.99 sera were positive for field virus antibodies, giving overall sero- prevalence rate of 12.72 %. In terms of age destribution, there seemed to be a higher antibody prevalence rate in younger piglets aged zero to one year (26.67%) than the older pigs aged one year or greater (9.17%). Similarly, growers within the age brackets of 4 months to 1year and 1year or greater had sero-prevalence of 22.73% and 11.32% respectively. In terms of sex destribution, there was a higher Foot and Mouth disease antibodies in females with a prevalence rate of 15.35% than in males with prevalence rate of 8.13%. In relation to sample source, 18.27 % of abbatoir sera tested positive for FMD antibodies while those obtained from farms had antibody titres of 3.85%. As for sample location, Gboko had lower sero- prevalence rate than Makurdi, having antibody preverlence of 7.62% and 11.55 % respectively. Generally, there were differences in probability values in terms of age, sex, sample source and location using chi-square destribution analysis with p< 0.05. From the foregoing it should be noted that caution needs to be taken on the dependence of bought-in pigs from neighboring states for slaughter in abattoirs in the study area. Local production of pigs in resident farms should rather be encouraged as part of a strategy to control FMD in Benue state. Also, the risk factor posed by these findings in relation to the North â€“ South cattle movement route is highlighted.
Keywords: FMD; Benue state; seroprevalence; pigs; farms; abattoirs; risk factors.