Lumpy Skin Disease

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    • Several states including Gujarat and Rajasthan have been battling the outbreak of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), a viral infection of cattle.

    Lumpy Skin Disease

    • About:
      • LSD is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), which is a virus of the capripoxvirus genus in the poxviridae family.
        • Sheeppox virus and goatpox virus are the other members of the genus capripoxvirus.
      • The LSDV mainly affects cattle cows and its progeny, and the Asian water buffaloes.
      • According to a 2021 report of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, LSD outbreaks occur in epidemics several years apart.
      • The existence of a specific reservoir for the virus is not known, nor is it known as to how and where the virus survives between epidemics.
    • Prevalence:
      • LSD was long restricted to sub-Saharan Africa. Over the past decade, it has spread to the Middle East and Turkey.
      • From 2015 onward, it has impacted the Balkan (southeast Europe) countries, Caucus (Eastern Europe) and Russia.
        • LSD entered India, Bangladesh and China in 2019.
    • Transmission:
      • The LSDV spreads through blood-sucking vectors like ticks and mites like houseflies, mosquitoes, etc.
      • It also spreads through contaminated water, fodder and feed.
    • Symptoms:
      • LSDV attacks the circulatory system of an animal and causes vasculitis or inflammation of blood vessels and lesions in various organs like liver, lungs, spleen, lymph nodes etc.
      • It causes epidermis, making the outer surface of the skin to get separated from dermis – the inner layer of the skin.
        • This, in turn, leads to formation of lumps or nodules on an animal’s body.
      • Increased mucus secretions, loss of appetite etc are among other symptoms.
    • How does it lead to death?
      • The virus had caused necrotic vasculitis or death of living tissues in local areas and fibrosis in various organs of infected cattle.
      • Such a situation leads to failure of various organs, and eventually death.
      • The nodules may burst due to outer pressure or friction as skin covering such nodules is very thin.
        • Such open wounds make animals susceptible to secondary bacterial and protozoal infections and development of magots and can prove fatal.
      • Animals may also develop bronchopneumonia, impairing their respiratory system.
      • The animal falls in a vicious cycle as it loses stamina due to loss appetite and due to edema (swelling caused by accumulation of excess fluid in body tissues) in brisket and in turn, the disease becomes worse.

    Source: IE