Lumpy skin disease
The disease, reported from Sudan in 1970 and Egypt in 1988, is caused by a member of the Capripox virus. It affects cattle and is restricted to African countries, viz. South Africa and parts of Central and Eastern Africa. A single outbreak was reported from outside Africa, i.e. from Israel in 1989.
Epidemiology: Lumpy skin disease affects cattle breeds derived from both Bos taurus and Bos indicus. The disease was first recognized in an extensive epidemic in Zamtea in 1929. Morbidity in susceptible herds can be as high as 100% but mortality is rarely more than 1-2%. It is possible that the virus is transmitted mechanically between cattle and biting insects with the virus being perpetuated in a wildlife reservoir host, possibly African cape buffalo. The disease is characterized by fever and appearance of nodular lesions in various parts of the body.
Symptoms and diagnosis: The lesions may appear in the mouth, nares, lungs and alimentar y tra ct. B eside s lymphade nitis, oe dema of limbs may also oc cur. Lachrymation, nasal discharge and loss of appetite are the main features in the affected cattle. Healing process is slow. Mortality is low and is in the range of 1-2%.
Treatment, prevention and control: Two vaccines are currently available; a live- attenuated vaccine in South Africa and a field strain of sheep pox virus propagated in tissue culture in Kenya. African buffalo seems to serve as a reservoir for the virus and importation of wild ruminants from endemic zones to the zoological parks outside Africa should be strictly avoided.