Preventive Measures to Control Re-emerging Lumpy Skin Disease

Cattle with lumpy Skin Disease

Lumpy skin disease is an infectious, notifiable, re-emerging, non-zoonotic viral disease of cattle and water buffaloes caused by Capri pox virus of Pox viridae family. This virus produces acute and sub-acute disease manifesting fever, depression, enlarged lymph nodes and nodules on skin.

Earlier disease was confined to Africa, firstly seen as an epidemic in Zambia in 1929, but in recent past few years it has been reported in Bangladesh, China, India, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar. The outbreak of disease mostly related to direct transmission of the virus between animals, vector borne -biological or mechanical and movement of unvaccinated cattle from infected areas to disease free area. Though disease has low mortality, still there is a huge impact on socio-economic growth of country and major economic losses to poor farmers as it leads to reduced milk yield, poor quality of hides, infertility, abortions and export restrictions due to high morbidity. 

Disease can be managed by using broad-spectrum antibiotics, ant-inflammatory, antipyretics, antiseptic and multivitamin drugs.  Ethnoveterinary medicine, accessibility to clean water and soft feed and water is also appreciated. Recent spread of disease in various parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat threatened the animal husbandry department and it proved challenging to mitigate its outbreak. As it is important for veterinarians to investigate, diagnose and report the disease in field conditions, it is also important for them to educate farmers to adopt preventive measures to reduce further spread.

Tentative diagnosis can be done on basis of clinical signs, outbreak history, and postmortem findings and for laboratory confirmation samples like blood, scabs and nodules tissue can be collected, these suspected clinical samples is to be forwarded to ICAR- NIHSAD, Bhopal for further diagnosis.

Preventive strategies like awareness campaigns, control of vector, animal movement restrictions, farm disinfection, immunization, stamping out policy, diagnostic aids and surveillance programs can be adopted. In awareness campaigns official and private, field and abattoir veterinarians, farmers, cattle traders, and artificial inseminators are targeted to this disease. Vector control by using insecticides and limit breeding sites, like standing water, slurry and manure. Movement of unvaccinated, sub-clinical or unnoticed infected cattle prone risk of outbreak in disease free area.

Isolation and quarantine measure of 28 days are to be followed when purchasing an animal from other country or exposed area.

Disinfection can be done with 2% sodium hydroxide, 4% sodium carbonate, 2% chloroform and formalin, 2% phenol, iodine and quaternary ammonium compounds. Immunization is the best practical method to control the disease with homologous (Neethling strain) or heterologous live attenuated vaccine (Sheep/Goat pox vaccine) and commercially available as LumpyVax® and Bovivax LSD-N.

In case of ring-vaccination, the radius of protection and surveillance zones. Stamping-out policies is also used to control the spread but not practically proved effective and should be combined with vaccination. Surveillance programmes are every effective to control the disease in in case the outbreaks are reported in disease-free regions, where cattle are not yet vaccinated.

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