Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) - Emergence - Your Guide to Transboundary & Emerging Diseases
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Key Facts
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Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an OIE-listed notifiable disease caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). It affects cattle and water buffalo, damaging animal health and causing significant production and trade losses.

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Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD)

LSD has been spreading into different regions and countries in recent years and continues to move. Find out where the latest reported outbreaks are with this map.  

Key Facts
Clinical Signs

As the disease name suggests, affected animals typically develop skin nodules or lumps, which can occur all over the body and vary in size. Other clinical signs include fever, general malaise, ocular and nasal discharge, and sudden decrease in milk production. As these are non-specific, outbreaks of LSD may not be detected quickly enabling it to spread further. Morbidity and mortality may vary between 10-20% and 1-5% respectively (OIE Technical Card, July 2017), and the severity of disease in those affected varies from mild to fatal. LSD outbreaks have a huge impact on the farming industry because they lead to significant production losses. They also cause serious damage to trade because of major restrictions for the export of live cattle, milk and meat products, skins and hides.


LSD is caused by a virus which means that there is no specific treatment. Control of LSD must focus on prevention, including vaccination.


In the event of outbreaks in disease-free countries then slaughter of infected and in-contact animals plus movement restrictions may be considered. However, this relies on detecting the disease very early and putting such controls in place very quickly. As this is expensive and may not be practically achievable, vaccination with a good quality vaccine is recommended.

Cattle in a dusty clearing, facing the camera
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Focus On… Life as a Vet in Research – Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
Almost 15 years ago, when I graduated as a veterinary surgeon, I never envisioned that I would be researching within infectious diseases… I was going to be a large animal…
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International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE), Canada 2022
My name is Rachel Herschman and I have been an intern on the International Veterinary Health (IVH) team for three months. I attended the International Symposium of Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics (ISVEE) last month in Halifax, Canada from 7th August to 12th August 2022. The clear themes interwoven throughout the conference were the importance of having a diversity of evidence at hand, international collaboration, and having a One Health philosophy. ‘One Health’ is an approach that calls for interdisciplinary collaboration in recognizing how human health, environmental health, and animal health are interconnected. Understanding this interconnectedness across multiple points of view is thought to be the most optimal way to solve problems in these sectors. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada The Global Burden of Animal Diseases The Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADs) was one of the many shining organizations at ISVEE. Their talks focused on neglected zoonotic diseases (NZD), many of which disproportionally affect vulnerable groups in low/middle-income countries. Much of epidemiology depends on the availability and accessibility of large datasets, which often results in bias that can over and underprioritize diseases. One such example is Anthrax, a disease found to be the most prioritized in countries worldwide despite being estimated to have a very low disease burden. Therefore, GBABs is exploring graph databases and better data management frameworks to enable more data sharing and reportability. Animal Health Loss Envelope (AHLE). Animal Health Loss Envelope (AHLE). Mortality does not do a great job of capturing the total amount of damage a disease causes. Biomass and economic values were shown to be valuable denominators for disease burden estimates. Using these variables requires large amounts of data and discussion but can yield insightful measures such as the Animal Health Loss Envelope (AHLE). The AHLE can be broken up and attributed to specific causes using complex methodologies. Using this tool can formalize the relationship between health risks in livestock production. AHLE was used to look at the costs associated with poultry production in the UK and showed that the cost of disease burden is roughly the same as the cost of chicks (chicks being the second highest cost in production inputs next to feed costs). AHLE was used to look at the costs associated with poultry production in the UK and showed that the cost of disease burden is roughly the same as the cost of chicks (chicks being the second highest cost in production inputs next to feed costs). When speaking to Carlotta Di Bari about their poster detailing brucellosis burden, the usage of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) was discussed as it is used by many public institutes to create a thorough comparisons of the health impacts felt in a population. This poster was also cited in a GBABs talk by David Pigott focusing on livestock impacts on human health Foot and Mouth Disease Dr. Polly Compston’s presentation was done with data from questionnaires that covered the impact of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreaks on cattle, market activities, animal husbandry and production systems, and household demographics. The partial budget analysis included the current cost of the disease and inconsistent vaccination, the impact of effective disease control through vaccination, and the revenue forgone (i.e., lost milk yields caused by FMD infection). FMD infection can disrupt a female cattles’ reproductive cycle. Milk fertility is a measure of the milk lost due to these reproductive delays, and the analysis showed a consequence of six months of milk lost due to FMD that did not include the milk losses during the clinical infection The panel discussion and Q&A segment of “Modeling Approaches to Support Progressive Control and Eradication of Transboundary Animal Diseases, with a Focus on PPR and FMD” touched upon the importance of data availability and strategies to discuss modelling to non-scientific officials. Main points: The absence of a rich database for Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR), can lead to overlooking uptake issues in vaccination program.Discussions with non-scientific officials must be a participative process where there is ownership and belief in modelling tools.It might even be beneficial to have a dedicated member to present the outcomes of a model, instead of the person who built the model, so that the information can be distilled into simple messaging. Panel discussion on “Modeling Approaches to Support Progressive Control and Eradication of Transboundary Animal Diseases, with focus on PPR and FMD. Avian Influenza China’s yellow boiler industry has been understudied with no prior research on the chickens before going to market, and current Avian Influenza (AI) control policy does not consider the unique ways yellow broilers are reared. A value chain analysis of this sector in Guangxi, China (Tang, et al., 2021) identified the use of trading platforms as a key point for targeted intervention to prevent the spread of H7H9 (Asian Lineage Avian Influenza A) to other birds and people. Contracted broiler farmers, used extensively in this region, send their market-weight chickens to trading platforms before they are transported to live bird markets to be sold to the public. Professor Arjan Stegeman from Utrecht University detailed how wild bird densities and landscape variables can predict spatial patterns in high pathogenicity AI (HPAI) outbreak risk across the Netherlands. The analysis was about HPAI introduction, not about its spread. Mallard ducks were shown to be the migratory bird with the most associated risk, but inland outbreaks were attributed to geese having a greater role. With the most important wild bird species’ populations varying year to year, models therefore need to be updated regularly to remain accurate. Professor Stegeman’s HPAI risk map of the Netherlands that uses three algorithms. Lumpy Skin Disease One of the most anticipated talks of the conference was on the qualitative assessment of the probability of introduction and onward transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in Ukraine (Farra, et al., 2022). LSD was detected in Russia in 2015, suspected to have been introduced via the Balkans. Instability in Ukraine this year could make LSD's introduction into the country a real possibility. Qualitative risk assessment analysis showed that the highest risk for LSD introduction was the illegal importation of cattle and that a strong legal framework was associated with the least risk. Local experts included veterinary authorities, field veterinarians, and academics from universities. The report was received well in Ukraine and is being used to revise strategies in place and to better understand the introduction pathways. African Swine Fever To be ready for a case of African Swine Fever (ASF) transmission, many countries are running simulations so that emergency plans and procedures can be more effectiveTo be ready for a case of African Swine Fever (ASF) transmission, many countries are running simulations so that emergency plans and procedures can be more effectiveTo be ready for a case of African Swine Fever (ASF) transmission, many countries are running simulations so that emergency plans and procedures can be more effective I spoke with Dr. Amy Hagerman, an Assistant Professor at Oklahoma State University, about her student’s research on ASF’s impact on the pork prices in the Hispaniola Island. The supply of Creole swine is forecasted not to recover until 2030, leaving the prices for the traditional pig product high and could mean its further displacement by commercial swine that are faster to recover. Rabies In this talk, free roaming domestic dogs (FRDDs, dogs belonging to a community) were identified as the main source of rabies transmission to humans in a study including Indonesia and Guatemala. The study tracked FRDDs to see what habitats they chose to live in. Knowing this could make oral rabies vaccination campaigns more successful. Veterinary Education The quality of a veterinarian’s communication skills impact client satisfaction. By training with this digital role-play, veterinary practitioners were better able to understand how to clarify clients’ needs and build strong working relationships. The Norwegian University of Life Sciences evaluated how having students making podcasts about epidemiological topics could be a way to actively aid their learning. The students worked in groups and took on different roles in the podcast. It was stated that this project creates a motivational learning environment by incorporating curiosity, challenges, choice, control, and collaboration.The Norwegian University of Life Sciences evaluated how having students making podcasts about epidemiological topics could be a way to actively aid their learning. The students worked in groups and took on different roles in the podcast. It was stated that this project creates a motivational learning environment by incorporating curiosity, challenges, choice, control, and collaboration. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of MSD Animal Health.
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Website – IVVN – International Veterinary Vaccinology Network
The IVVN is an international community of over 1,600 members working together to develop improved vaccines for livestock and zoonotic diseases.
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Boosting disease control with learning and innovation
Disease control is about a lot more than simply the right vaccine. Building sustainable programs that will make a difference often requires behavioural change and even cultural shifts.  Alongside that, vaccination is definitely not an excuse for poor management routines.  High-quality vaccines are effective in extremely testing conditions, but no matter how good they are, ultimately human and animal immune systems can be overwhelmed when the challenge is too much. That is why we concentrate on how vaccines are used, and how elimination and eradication programs are implemented, as much as we do on the technologies to continually develop better vaccines. On the emergence website, and in the emergence podcasts, we talk to people about the diseases themselves, how they spread, what actions can be done to reduce the environmental load, and how to improve the interface between humans and animals.  Awareness is critical.  It used to be that vets and doctors could focus on the “local” diseases, but with global travel and shifting weather patterns, vectors are changing their habitats and viruses can be carried tens of thousands of miles before clinical signs are even seen.  It is more critical than ever that we watch for unusual diseases.  When I was trained as a veterinary surgeon at the University of Glasgow we were told “when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras”.  A couple of decades later then you need to think of the zebras.  African Swine Fever, Lyme Disease, and Lumpy Skin Disease are all examples of diseases that are now common in areas that weren’t even considered ten years ago. That awareness is built on education.  Education of medical professionals, but also of technicians, animal owners, and the public.  It’s a privilege to be able to engage with people and share what we have learnt over the years of working in transboundary and emerging diseases.  And also for us to learn from others involved on the ground.  Whether it is talking to students at college, hosting One Health webinars, supporting village community workshops, helping vets in developing countries attend conferences, or through social media, using different mediums helps communicate the message that we can work together to create a healthy, welfare positive, and sustainable future for us all.  This latest emergence edition will bring you some of those tools and help support you as we work together. Here are a few resources and ways to learn about a variety of diseases, that we would like to bring to your attention: Global One Health initiative webinar ‘Surveillance – Where we are now and barriers to implementation’International rabies training course in West Africa organised by the Pasteur InstituteFree Animal Health Expert Trainings from the FAO elearning AcademyOur recent webinar 'A One Health Approach to Vector-Borne Diseases' Expert resources on Lumpy Skin Disease and vaccinationThe 'ASF Talks' webinar series International Veterinary Vaccinology Network
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Exploring New Frontiers in Animal Health at EPIZONE
I’m a final year DPhil student studying at The Pirbright Institute and the University of Oxford. My studies are partly sponsored by MSD Animal Health. This has included a 3-month placement with the International Veterinary Health (IVH) team, where I’ve been enjoying getting a new perspective on the cooperation between research and industry, and learning more about logistics, global partnerships and communicating with varying audiences. At the start of my placement I attended EPIZONE, an annual conference focusing on epizootic animal diseases, where I shared my work, and connected with Kasia Bankowska (Associate Director, Quality Assurance, Biomaterials Team) and Erwin van den Born (Principal Scientist, Global R&D) from MSD Animal Health. From left: Erwin van den Born, Kasia Bankowska, Charlotte Cook In May, the 14th Annual Meeting of the EPIZONE network took place in Barcelona at the World Trade Centre after two years of hiatus, bringing together some of the most exciting and novel research into epizootic animal disease. Increasingly, emerging and transboundary diseases such as African swine fever and lumpy skin disease present challenges to farmers and economies across the world. Conferences such as EPIZONE enable scientists and professionals from a range of fields with a common interest in animal health to meet, network, and share their work with the wider community. I was fortunate enough to present my work on the impact of the stable fly Stomoxys calcitrans on lumpy skin disease (LSD) pathogenesis in the Vector Borne Diseases session. My work, which presented an in vivo study of three novel LSD virus (LSDV) inoculation methodologies unpicking LSDV transmission (read more in this article Unraveling the Transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus), was the culmination of a PhD project partly funded by MSD Animal Health . Though nerve wracking to present in front of my scientific colleagues after years of presenting virtually, it was well received, with plenty of questions being asked after the presentation, and in the coffee break! Charlotte Cook at Epizone presenting her work on the impact of stable fly on LSD, Barcelona, Spain. There were many fascinating talks, spanning a range of hosts and diseases. A standout talk for me was a keynote talk by Dr Sofie Dhollander from the European Food Safety Authority on the prevention and control of African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar populations. As this disease is rapidly spreading across Europe, it was very interesting to see how modelling wild boar management strategies and their impact on different locations could aid in the control of this virus. Overall, there was a positive perception of control approaches being developed around the globe and a sense of cautious optimism towards reducing the spread, which came through in a lot of discussions. “Due to the current global outbreak of African swine fever, the disease continues to get a lot attention. The overall feeling is that we are close to an efficacious and safe live-attenuated ASF vaccine that is ready for the market, but I feel that we still need to understand how safe these gene-deleted vaccine strain really are, as most of them are based on highly virulent field isolates.” said Erwin van den Born, Principal Scientist R&D Swine Biologicals MSD Animal Health. Lesser-known emerging diseases were also given a spotlight. As a keen foodie, it was fascinating to hear about hepatitis E in pigs and its relationship with Corsican sausages! Kasia also enjoyed the emerging and re-emerging diseases session, “especially the talks on pathogenicity of yet another Pestivirus and the detection of Borna Disease Virus in a subfamily of shrews in Germany.” Pestiviruses were a hot topic this conference, with many talks and posters focusing on them. Erwin added: “I did like the talk from CReSA on the recently discovered Ovine pestivirus (OVPV). It can actually infect pigs, and can even be used to immunize pigs and protect them against a Classic swine fever virus challenge.” After years of virtual meetings and symposia, it was wonderful to meet scientists in person from across Europe in a sunny and convivial setting. The theme of the meeting was “New horizons, new challenges”, and that was definitely achieved - I feel even more motivated to share my work and continue communicating the importance of addressing animal health and disease as we look to make the world a healthier place. Before you go: Find out more about lumpy skin disease.Read about Groundbreaking research on transmission of lumpy skin disease .Explore the African swine fever resources in our Knowledge Hub.Learn more about transboundary and emerging diseases. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of MSD Animal Health. Photo credits: Charlotte Cook, Kasia Bankowska.
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Free Animal Health Expert Trainings from the FAO elearning Academy
The FAO eLearning Academy offer free access to a wide range of trainings for professionals involved in the control of diseases.
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Wishing You Well for 2022
Have a wonderful end of the year, enjoy time with families and friends, and we will see you, reinvigorated and recharged, in 2022.
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Expert FAQs on Lumpy Skin Disease Vaccination
Vaccination is the best way to control lumpy skin disease (LSD). With many people and countries facing this serious disease for the first time as it continues to sweep across Asia, it is essential that high quality information about LSD vaccines and vaccination is easily accessible to help those making disease control decisions. It is therefore timely to see the release of the OIE document "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Lumpy skin disease (LSD) Vaccination", which is aimed at Veterinary Services and covers a range of questions relating to benefits, availability, access and vaccine types. Read the OIE's frequently asked questions on LSD vaccination here. This document is also available, along with a range of other resources and materials, on the regularly updated OIE Asia and the Pacific region website. "Vaccination is the most effective tool for LSD control and potential eradication" (OIE FAQ on LSD vaccination). Photo by Tom Strydom. To understand more about LSD, its devastating spread across large parts of the world, and what can be done to stop it, read this interview with OIE expert Dr Pip Beard from The Pirbright Institute. "The reality is that LSD is an extremely difficult disease to eliminate once it is established in a region. Vaccination is absolutely key to controlling disease outbreaks, and there are very safe and effective LSD vaccines commercially available. High vaccination rates in cattle populations across large areas are required for disease control, for example, the regional vaccination programme undertaken by southeast Europe was effective in controlling LSD. A similar co-ordinated and comprehensive vaccination programme involving multiple countries may be required in Asia."Dr Pip Beard, Pirbright Institute (Excerpt from LSD Interview) Explore these links to find out even more: Listen: to Dr Beard discuss the latest LSD transmission research on our podcast Read: our emergence website LSD page Search: the Knowledge Hub LSD resources Cow with LSD nodules on the neck. Photo credit: Dr Pip Beard.
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Podcast Episode 3 - 2021 - The One About Lumpy Skin and Flies
A talk with Dr Pip Beard of the Pirbright Institute about their recent findings on the transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease. Terminology: BBSRC - Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council LSD - Lumpy Skin Disease OIE - World Organisation for Animal Health Link to paper -
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