LUMPY SKIN DISEASE (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     3rd April 2024        

Context: In a breakthrough, a multi-institutional team of scientists has unveiled critical insights into evolution & origin of lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) strains fuelling the outbreak in India.

Lumpy Skin Disease

  • About: It is a viral disease that affects cattle. It is genetically related to the goatpox and sheeppox virus family.
  • Transmitted by: Blood-feeding insects, such as certain species. of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks.
  • Causes: Fever, nodules on the skin and can also lead to death, especially in animals that that have not previously been exposed to the virus.
  • Symptoms: The incubation period for lumpy skin disease is between  14 day post-infection.

oAfter an initial period of high fever (41°C) and swollen lymph glands, the animal may develop large, firm nodules that are up to 5 cm in diameter in the skin.

oThese can be found all over the body, but particularly on the: head.

oGuidelines for prevention of Lumpy Skin Disease:

  • Preventive Measures: Control of animal movement, Restriction with affected animals and persons dealing with such animals, Vaccination.

Mysterious Illness Strikes Cattle in India

  • In May 2022, a puzzling illness swept through cattle populations across India, causing widespread concern among farmers and veterinarians.
  • Devastating Losses: Since the onset of the illness, approximately 1 lakh cattle have succumbed to its effects, leading to significant economic and emotional losses for farmers.
  • Identification of LSDV Outbreak: Scientists have identified the cause of the outbreak as LSDV (Lumpy Skin Disease Virus), a highly contagious viral infection affecting cattle.
  • Comprehensive Study Reveals Insights: A multi-institutional team, conducted a thorough study published in BMC Genomics, offering a detailed genomic analysis of LSDV variants circulating in India.
  • Enhanced Virulence and Severity: The study sheds light on the virus's enhanced virulence and the severity of the disease it causes, providing crucial insights for combating the outbreak effectively.
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