Lumpy Skin Disease

Lumpy Skin Disease

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Changed on: 13.02.2017
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Lumpy Skin Disease: Verbreitung Stand 13.02.2017

Lumpy skin disease is a poxvirus  infection that occurs in ruminants and was classified due to its long distance spread on the African continent  as a minor virus infection threat to Europe in the past. At present, the animal epidemic is spreading to Eastern Europe, coming from the Middle East (Turkey).

The pathogen of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a virus from the genus Capripoxvirus, which also includes the Sheeppox virus (SPPV) and the Goatpox virus (GTPV). SPPV and GTPV cause pox in sheep and goats, respectively. The Lumpy skin disease virus, the Sheeppox virus and the Goatpox virus are closely related from a phylogenetic standpoint.

LSD is a notifiable animal disease. An outbreak  in cattle results in severe economic losses.

Communication platform of Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs

Status Quo of LSD-Spread in Europe: Analysis of ADNS data

EFSA: Scientific Opinion on lumpy skin disease

FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

EFSA: Workshop on lumpy skin disease: report available

caption
Lumpy Skin Disease: Verbreitung Stand 13.02.2017

Lumpy skin disease is a poxvirus  infection that occurs in ruminants and was classified due to its long distance spread on the African continent  as a minor virus infection threat to Europe in the past. At present, the animal epidemic is spreading to Eastern Europe, coming from the Middle East (Turkey).

The pathogen of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a virus from the genus Capripoxvirus, which also includes the Sheeppox virus (SPPV) and the Goatpox virus (GTPV). SPPV and GTPV cause pox in sheep and goats, respectively. The Lumpy skin disease virus, the Sheeppox virus and the Goatpox virus are closely related from a phylogenetic standpoint.

LSD is a notifiable animal disease. An outbreak  in cattle results in severe economic losses.

Communication platform of Federal Ministry of Health and Women’s Affairs

Status Quo of LSD-Spread in Europe: Analysis of ADNS data

EFSA: Scientific Opinion on lumpy skin disease

FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

EFSA: Workshop on lumpy skin disease: report available

Occurrence

Occurrence

Lumpy skin disease has been endemic to Africa for many years. There, it began to spread to Egypt and then towards the Middle East and Israel (2006), Jordan (2013), Lebanon (2013) and Syria. The political situation and resultant migration movement in Syria contributed to the further spreading of this animal disease to the north, into Turkey (as of 2013).  The disease spread rapidly over wide areas of Turkey in 2014, through the trading of livestock and infection via insects. Lumpy skin disease was first diagnosed in Greece in 2015. Other outbreaks were recorded in Georgia (2015), Russia (2015), Armenia (2016) and Azerbaijan (2014), as well as Iran and Iraq in 2013 and 2014. Evidence of Lumpy skin disease in cattle on the Arabian Peninsula was found in 2015.

In Europe, the disease is spreading north from the Evros Delta in Greece. The first infected cattle herds were recorded in Bulgaria and Macedonia in April 2016; shortly after outbreaks were also detected in Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro followed Infections in European wild ruminants (bisons) have not been reported to date. The rapid spread of the disease in Eastern Europe has been attributed to the high vector density in the mostly humid and waterhole-rich outbreak locations.

The European species susceptible to this disease are livestock and wild ruminants:

  • Bos primigenius taurus – domestic cattle (some species are especially susceptible, such as Holstein Friesian, Jersey, Guernsey and Ayrshire)
  • Bos bonasus – wisent or European bison
    The exact host spectrum for Europe has not been recorded to date.
    A possible infection of small (wild) ruminants and New World camelids cannot be excluded completely, according to latest scientific research.

The exact host spectrum concerning wild animals for Europe has not been recorded to date.
A possible infection of small (wild) ruminants and New World camelids cannot be excluded completely, according to latest scientific research.

Susceptible wild animals around the world:
Bos bison – American bison,  Bos indicus – zebu, Bubalus arnee – water buffalo; furthermore: African buffalo, Old World camelids, giraffes and antelopes.

Infection

Infection

The disease can spread via

  • vectors: via biting, sucking insects (culicoides etc.), mites and flies (house flies, barn flies).  The exact species spectrum of LSD vectors - in particular the European vector spectrum - has not been researched scientifically to date
  • direct contact 
  • infected sperm (the virus could be detected 22-159 days in the sperm of bulls infected experimentally following the infection)  
  • trading in infected but symptomless livestock
  • trading in untreated animal hides and products from infected animals (e.g. hunting trophies; the virus can survive up to 18 days in untreated, dry animal hide)
  • products made from raw meat or raw dairy products, used to make animal feed incl. colostrum 
  • aerosols and dust (there is no precise scientific data; vehicles leaving the zones restricted due to the outbreak in Bulgaria must be disinfected and cleaned (in line with Commission implementing decision 2016/645)

Symptoms

Symptoms

In bovines, the disease can develop in an acute to subacute form, sometimes even chronically.
 
Typical symptoms are

  • a papulovesicular exanthem, in the form of 0.5-5cm large nodes on the skin of the head, neck and tail area around the perineum, the outer genitals (udder mastitis!) and the extremities. Only 40-50% of cattle develop generalised swellings
  • biphasic fever attacks of up to 41 °C 
  • clearly enlarged lymph nodes 
  • necrotic lesions on the organs of the respiratory tract (trachea, lungs), the skeletal muscles, the subcutaneous tissue, the stomach and the uterus  
  • increased production of saliva and lacrimal liquid 
  • apathy, loss of appetite, weight loss 
  • conjunctivitis (can lead to blindness) 
  • loss of toleration reflex in females 
  • abortions due to infection

An infection with BHV 2 (pseudo lumpy skin disease), parapoxvirus, demodicosis and dermatophilosis - an infection with the bacterium Dermatophilus congolensis - could be possible from a differential diagnostic standpoint.

The following images of symptoms from Bulgaria (2016) were kindly provided by our Bulgarian colleagues. The pictures show the skin nodes typical for Lumpy skin disease.

LSD-typische Hautschwellungen / Rinderkörper

Control and Prevention

Control and Prevention

Controlling the epidemic is only possible by putting rigorous measures into place. The measures introduced in Bulgaria in line with Commission implementing decision 2016/645 of 22 May, 2016 are among others

  • setting up restriction zones around outbreak locations
  • emergency culling of infected animals and animals suspected of having been infected
  • control of healthy animals by the appropriate official agencies around outbreak locations
  • control of wild ruminants in and around outbreak locations
  • vaccination: vaccinations with the Sheeppox virus strain RM-65 and LSDV-strain Neethling may protect the animals from a clinical outbreak of the disease, but do not prevent infection. Viraemic animals that show no symptoms are dangerous as they may transmit the disease to healthy animals in an unnoticed way. There were still new infections in Greece in 2016, despite vaccination programmes!
  • ban of movement of livestock from LSD-areas – controlled transport of live animals (cattleand wild ruminants) inside restriction  zones (e.g.: direct transport of cattle to the slaughter house)
  • professional treatment of raw meat and raw dairy products from cattle and wild ruminantsfor human consumption; no sale of raw meat and raw dairy products and animal feed including colostrum from areas affected
  • cleaning and disinfection of vehicles when leaving restriction zones

    Diagnostics

    Diagnostics

    Lumpy skin disease is a notifiable pox virus disease. Thus, the Official Veterinarian must be informed upon even the slightest suspicion of the disease. The occurrence of the disease can result in drastic economic losses. Its rapid spread via direct contact and multiple vectors are reasons enough to act quickly. The Official Veterinarians should take samples (skin necroses, lacrimal fluid, saliva, serum and EDTA blood) upon even the slightest suspicion of infection.

    Lumpy skin disease is examined at the AGES Centre for Biological Safety in Austria:

    AGES - Institute for Veterinary Disease Control Mödling
    Robert Kochgasse 17,
    2340 Mödling
    Tel: 0043 50555 38112
    Email: vetmed.mödling@ages.at

    Samples are analysed  under biosafety conditions  at the laboratory of the Centre for Biological Safety (BSL3+).

    Diagnostic methods applied

    1. Pathomorphological methods (histology, dissection)
    2. Molecular biology (PCR, sequencing) 
    3. Serology 
    4. Electron microscopy (rapid diagnosis) 
    5. Virus isolation with cell cultures

    Sample type for taking samples

    Live animals

    • Skin lesions and/or scabs 
    • Saliva (native in test tubes or swab possible – don't use tubes with bacteriological swab transport medium)
    • Fluids from the nose and eyes (swab - don't use tubes with bacteriological swab transport medium)
    • Blood (EDTA/heparin) and serum

    Animal carcasess (dead)

    • Skin lesions and/or scabs 
    • Lymph nodes 
    • Spleen 
    • Lung and changed areas of the respiratory tract 
    • Nasal fluids (swab –  don't use bacteriological swab transport medium)

    For more details on the disease contact

    Dr. Susanne Richter, susanne.richter@ages.at
    Dr. Angelika Loitsch, angelika.loitsch@ages.at


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