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.