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LUMPY skin disease (LSD) is a notifiable disease of cattle which is caused by a capripoxvirus. Over the past year there have been reports of the disease in Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Albania, Georgia and Russia, alerting veterinary authorities of its westerly spread from Turkey and the Middle East. A vaccination strategy has been employed in Greece and the majority of the Balkan countries to try to control the disease; however, recent confirmation of LSD outbreaks indicates that spread is continuing into previously unaffected countries.
The disease naturally occurs only in cattle, with a few recorded cases in Asian water buffalo, and as the name suggests is characterised by multiple skin lesions over the entire body. These are nodules of between 2 and 5 cm which occur especially on the head, neck, udder and perineum. They can ooze serum and are initially painful, and after two weeks may become necrotic plugs which penetrate the full skin thickness (known as ‘sit-fasts’). Superficial lymph nodes are enlarged and limbs may become oedematous, causing the animal difficulty in moving. Disease is also associated with pyrexia, rhinitis and conjunctivitis; there is a reduction in milk yield and pregnant animals may abort. Poxvirus lesions may be found in the oral mucous membranes and seen postmortem in the lower alimentary tract, trachea …