Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), a disease of cattle, is characterized by nodules on the skin and other parts of the body. It is caused by the Lumpy Skin Disease Virus (LSDV) which belongs to the genus Capripoxvirus of the family Poxviridae. LSD’s morbidity rates vary between 10 to 20%. However, mortality rate is 1 to 5%. Although first identified in 1929 in Zambia, its outbreak in Bangladesh was first reported by the Department of Livestock Services (DLS) on 22 July 2019. LSD is highly host-specific, causing disease in cattle only. Therefore, it is not zoonotic. The blood-feeding arthropods such as mosquitoes, stable flies, and ticks are mainly responsible for the transmission of LSDV mechanically.
According to DLS (Situation Report: Lumpy Skin Disease in Bangladesh 2019), a total of 553,528 cattle were affected by LSD in all 8 divisions in 2019. However, the highest incidence occurred in Chattogram (8.26%) followed by Khulna (6.52%) and lowest in Sylhet (0.01%). Permanent hide damage, emaciation, and reduced milk production are some of the major economic losses caused by LSD. Moreover, it may cause abortion, infertility, and death in more severe cases. Small-scale farmers, who make up most cattle owners in the country, are struggling due to the LSD outbreak in Bangladesh. The cost of providing supportive treatment for 2-3 months during the recovery period is unbearable for many of these low-income families.
Vaccination is the key to control LSD as it is a vector-borne disease. Government is now encouraging private sector to introduce Neethling strain vaccine in the country. ACI Limited has got approval from the government and recently introduced the attenuated Neethling strain vaccine (BOVIVAX LSD) in Bangladesh from M.C.I Santé Animale Company. This vaccine is a homologous LSDV vaccine. While existing heterologous vaccination induces an incomplete and weak protection against LSDV, homologous vaccine like BOVIVAX LSD provides a solid and durable immunity and gives good protection in cattle. Besides, it is produced as per European GMP requirements and is also registered in the EU. Now we can prevent the disease in a better way using the readily available BOVIVAX LSD vaccine.
Dr. F H Ansarey
Managing Director & CEO