Pashu Sandesh, 29 April 2022

Dr Ragini Mishra1 and Dr Sonam Bhardwaj2

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), a member of the Capripoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family. It is a transboundary disease of economic importance affecting cattle and water buffaloes. The disease is transmitted by arthropod vectors (mosquitoes, biting flies, Culicoides midges and three blood-sucking hard ticks) which act as mechanical vector and causes high morbidity and low mortality.

The disease is endemic in African and Middle East countries but has started spreading to Asia and other countries. It is on the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) list of notifiable diseases.It has been recently reported from China and Bangladesh share borders with India. LSD has recently been reported first time in India with 7.1% morbidity among cattle. July 2019 marked the first known introduction of LSD into South Asia, with Bangladesh officially reporting an outbreak (OIE, 2020). In India, the disease first appeared in the West Bengal state in August 2019 and spread to at least 15 states within 16 months.  Generally, fever, anorexia, characteristic nodules on the skin mucous membrane of the mouth, nostrils, udder, genitals, rectum, drop in milk production, abortion, infertility and sometimes death are the clinical manifestations of the disease. Major clinical signs include skin nodules all over the body, fever, lacrimal discharge, nasal discharge, anorexia, decreased milk yield, emaciation, depression and reluctance in movement.

The economic impact of LSD on South, East and Southeast countries was estimated to be up to USD 1.45 billion in direct losses of livestock and production. The detection of an exotic disease may have severe trade implications for infected countries. While mortality rates in cattle are often low, the relatively high morbidity of LSD once introduced into naïve populations can lead to significant income losses for farmers brought about by decreased milk production, damaged hides, emaciation of animals, infertility and abortions. Subsequent trade bans or other movement restrictions in affected countries place an economic strain on the cattle industry, severely impacting all actors along the value chain. The prevention and control of lumpy skin disease can be done by following four ways- movement control (quarantine), vaccination, slaughter campaigns and management strategies.

There are three licensed vaccines for lumpy kin disease: lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) Neethling strain vaccine, Kenyan sheep and goat pox (KSGP) O-180 strain vaccines and Gorgan goat pox (GTP) vaccine. Till now in India, no vaccine is available for LSD, but goat pox virus (GTPV) and sheep pox virus (SPPV) vaccines have been tried and provide a certain degree of protection to cattle. Currently, researchers are trying to develop a successful vaccine in India for the prevention and control of the lumpy skin disease virus.

Dr Ragini Mishra1 (Ph.D. Scholar- Division of Veterinary Microbiology)

Dr Sonam Bhardwaj2 (Ph.D. Scholar- Division of Livestock Production and Management) 

ICAR-IVRI, Izatnagar-243122, Bareilly (U.P.)