Transmission of lumpy skin disease virus: a short review.
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral transboundary disease endemic throughout Africa and of high economic importance that affects cattle and domestic water buffaloes. Since 2012, the disease has spread rapidly and widely throughout the Middle Eastern and Balkan regions, southern Caucasus and parts of the Russian Federation. Before vaccination campaigns took their full effect, the disease continued spreading from region to region, mainly showing seasonal patterns despite implementing control and eradication measures. The disease is capable of appearing several hundred kilometers away from initial (focal) outbreak sites within a short time period. These incursions have triggered a long-awaited renewed scientific interest in LSD resulting in the initiation of novel research into broad aspects of the disease, including epidemiology, modes of transmission and associated risk factors. Long-distance dispersal of LSDV seems to occur via the movement of infected animals, but distinct seasonal patterns indicate that arthropod-borne transmission is most likely responsible for the swift and aggressive short-distance spread of the disease. Elucidating the mechanisms of transmission of LSDV will enable the development of more targeted and effective actions for containment and eradication of the virus. The mode of vector-borne transmission of the disease is most likely mechanical, but there is no clear-cut evidence to confirm or disprove this assumption. To date, the most likely vectors for LSDV transmission are blood-sucking arthropods such as stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans), mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti), and hard ticks (Rhipicephalus and Amblyomma species). New evidence suggests that the ubiquitous, synanthropic house fly, Musca domestica, may also play a role in LSDV transmission, but this has not yet been tested in a clinical setting. The aim of this review is to compile and discuss the earlier as well as the most recent research data on the transmission of LSDV.