Several Indian states, including Assam, Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, have recorded cases of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).
The rapid development of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in many Indian states has alarmed dairy producers. Cattle and other bovine creatures have been affected.
According to some reports, the virus is not zoonotic and does not spread to people by eating meat or milk. It affects cows and buffalo, but the illness in the latter may have only been mildly detected.
Let’s examine LSD in depth, including its symptoms, transmission, treatment, and prevention
What is Lumpy Skin Disease?
It is a viral illness brought on by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), which belongs to the family Poxviridae’s Capripoxvirus genus.
Alternatively, we may claim that it is brought on by cattle or water buffalo contracting the poxvirus (LSDV). The virus is one of three closely related species of the genus capripoxvirus, along with the goatpox virus and the sheeppox virus.
Origin of LSD
LSD was first found in Zambia, according to some reports, in 1929. It extended over the bulk of Africa and into the Middle East during the following 85 years. The virus infiltrated Greece in Europe in 2015, as well as the Caucasus and Russia. Additionally, the virus expanded in 2016 into the Balkans’ east, Moscow’s north, and Kazakhstan’s west. From Mayurbhanj, Odisha, LSD was first reported in India in August 2019.
How does LSD get transmitted?
Even still, nothing is known about how this virus spreads. Direct transmission from an infected to an uninfected animal is extremely ineffective, according to several experimental studies. According to some evidence, arthropods like mosquitoes or ticks—which are referred to as viral “vectors”—transmit the virus. Which species of the vector are involved in the transmission is unknown, though.According to some experts, it is spread via ticks, flies, and mosquitoes. sometimes through contaminated water, food, and saliva. Unknown variables determine which animals get minor illnesses and which contract severe ones. The migration of infected animals is one of the important elements that might cause LSD to spread over great areas.
The Capripoxvirus that produces LSD is not zoonotic, meaning it does not spread from animals to people, unlike the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19.
By using tests to find the virus’ DNA or antibodies, a laboratory diagnosis can establish the presence of the condition.
What are the symptoms of LSD?
Nodules of two to five centimeters in diameter, primarily located around the head, neck, limbs, mammary gland of female cattle, and genitalia, can be found all over the body of the affected animal. And the bumps break open like significant wounds.
Other clinical symptoms include a general feeling of malaise, drainage from the eyes and nose, fever, and an abrupt drop in milk production.
The mortality rate, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), is less than 10%.
How can LSD be prevented?
Four strategies — movement restriction (quarantine), vaccination, slaughter campaigns, and management strategies — are essential for the treatment, control, and prevention of lumpy skin disease. Because country-specific management strategies differ, it is important to appropriately heed the advice of the relevant authorities and veterinarians.
The vaccination is without a doubt the most efficient method of prevention, and it is advised to use a live homologous vaccine made from a strain of LSDV that is similar to Neethling.
What is LSD’s course of treatment?
Although there is still no cure for this virus, immunization is the most reliable way to control it. Additionally, Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) and, when necessary, antibiotics may be used to treat subsequent skin infections.
We now know that the virus that causes lumpy skin disease in cattle produces a serious illness that is characterized by skin nodules. The greatest preventative method of preventing its spread is immunization. Insect vectors may act as its carriers. It has enormous economic repercussions and produces huge losses in afflicted herds. The illness will also have a severe effect on the nation since milk is one of the cheapest sources of protein and the majority of dairy producers are either landless or marginal landowners.