Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) - Emergence - Your Guide to Transboundary & Emerging Diseases
The corner device.
Total Reported Outbreaks
Total Affected Countries
Total Affected Species
Key Facts
Clinical Signs
Treatment and Management
Focus on...

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.

Read More
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
Focus on…
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…
Latest Articles and Events
Knowledge Hub
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.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
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.
Learn More
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 -
Learn More
A Spring of Change
Change can be challenging, but together, as a community, we can support each other and reach our goal of One Health One Welfare.
Learn More
Unraveling the Transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus
Discovering the transmission dynamics of a virus is instrumental to truly understanding epidemiology of a disease and helps pave the path towards successful evidence-based control programs. We are excited to have supported a project from The Pirbright Institute that was looking to uncover the transmission mechanisms of the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). The study, led by Dr. Beatriz Sanz‐Bernardo, has just achieved a breakthrough and we are pleased to share that the results were published under supervision of Dr. Pip Beard, and co-authored by John Atkinson of International Veterinary Health. Read the paper: Quantifying and modelling the acquisition and retention of lumpy skin disease virus by haematophagus insects reveals clinically but not subclinically-affected cattle are promoters of viral transmission and key targets for control of disease outbreaks. Dr. Alasdair King, Director International Veterinary Health, about the significance of the findings: “Lumpy skin disease has rapidly spread around a lot of the world and is causing significant One Health issues through its impact on cattle, on trade, and food security.  And yet, until recently little has been known about the routes of transmission. This research has been groundbreaking and will improve control of the disease for the future.” The research shows that LSDV infected cattle without clinical signs of the disease pose a low risk for transmission because it is unlikely that insects acquire the virus when biting these animals. This knowledge will help further improve strategies to manage outbreaks of this devastating disease. Read more in the press release from Pirbright here. If you want to hear more about the study listen to the emergence podcast – our guest Dr. Pip Beard shares her thoughts about this fascinating discovery in this episode: The One About Lumpy Skin and Flies.
Learn More
Podcast Episode 2 - 2021 - The One About Paraprofessionals
A discussion with Mr Benson Ameda about the role of paraprofessionals for animal health in Africa. Acronyms: OIE: World Organisation for Animal Health SDG: Sustainable Development Goals
Learn More
Focus On... The Vital Role of Animal Traceability in Controlling Livestock Diseases
The implementation of effective biosecurity policies across the food chain has become increasingly vital to control the spread of livestock diseases and ensure the wellbeing of animals and humans alike around the world. The main prerequisite for such policies is livestock identification, as this enables the tracking and monitoring of all livestock movement over their lifetime. Traceability depends on identification For animal protein products (predominantly beef, pork, poultry, seafood, and dairy products), there is an abundance of food traceability programs around the world that take varying approaches and utilize a wide array of technologies. Regardless of the program, having a unique identifying tag that is associated with an animal from birth and cannot be easily removed is fundamental for them all. Cattle wearing Allflex Livestock Intelligence EID tag. Increasingly, livestock identification is seen as vital for food biosecurity. There were major uptakes in livestock identification requirements following disease crises, such as the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, Mad Cow Disease) epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s and the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the UK in the early 2000s. Just a couple of years ago, African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks had a devastating impact on farmers in China, and the epidemic also affected domestic and wild pigs in other countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. In all these cases, the rudimentary information available on animal movement resulted in wide-swath culling. While instrumental in containing the disease and protecting consumers, the culling programs had severe effects on farmers’ businesses, national economies and food supply far beyond the geographic borders of the outbreak. Identification is just the start For food biosecurity, knowing the identity of an animal is not enough; it is vital to also know where that animal has been during every stage of its life. With basic livestock identification, it is possible to have a general idea of an animal’s movements over its lifetime. But combining identification with tissue sampling, diagnostic services, geolocation, and DNA profiling enables full traceability. And, once you have full traceability, then disease outbreaks can be contained faster, easier and with far less culling. Ideally, all stakeholders in the supply chain – from farmers to food producers, retailers, local councils and governments – should take collective responsibility for implementing such measures at the farm, regional, and national levels. In the case of farmers, biosecurity practices include the standardizing of hygiene procedures both onsite and offsite, the setting up of protection and surveillance zones, and the implementation of methods to identify, control, monitor, and record all livestock movements from birth. At the regional or national level, industry authorities, local councils, and governments can mandate biosecurity standards, policies, and systems that enforce compulsory identification, monitoring, and control measures for tracking the movement of farm animals from the time they are born and ensuring their lifetime traceability. Sheep wearing the Allflex Livestock Intelligence EID tags Digitization will be key The effective implementation of such livestock traceability systems requires the creation of a smart environment that integrates agriculture with digital solutions. This facilitates the tracking and monitoring of all livestock movement, as well as the collection of this data so that it can be easily accessed when the need arises. One potential approach is to develop comprehensive electronic identification and monitoring systems that integrate electronic identification tags with readers at more locations, making it possible to automatically collect livestock data from multiple sources into centralized and cloud-based national databases. This will facilitate full traceability for every animal from the time it is born. Highly valuable data can then be made available to farmers, local authorities, veterinarians, slaughterhouses, producers, retailers, and others in the food supply chain, and even consumers – for full transparency about the origins and health profiles of all livestock and related food products. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of MSD Animal Health.
Learn More

Latest Scientific Papers

Subscribe to our free newsletter and stay up to date with all news and events.