Invasive Species Compendium

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Abstract

Analysis of vaccine-like Lumpy skin disease virus from flies near the western border of China.

Abstract

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a devastating viral disease that occurs in cattle. In China, it was first detected in the Xin-Jiang autonomous region, near the border with Kazakhstan, in August 2019. As there were no new occurrences of LSD in either country following the first detection, the initial introduction of the virus remains unknown. Arthropod vectors were considered as potential vectors. Consequently, to identify the arthropod vectors involved in transmitting LSD virus (LSDV), an insect surveillance campaign was launched at four different sites scattered along the border, and samples from 22 flying insect species were collected and subjected to PCR assays. Following the Agianniotaki LSDV vaccine and Sprygin's general LSDV assays, two kinds of non-biting flies, namely, Musca domestica L and Muscina stabulans, were positive for LSDV. However, all the other insects tested negative. Viral DNA was only detected in wash fluid, implying body surface contamination of the virus. The negative test results suggest that non-biting flies are the dominant insects involved in the observed local epidemic. Three genomic regions encoding RPO30, GPCR, and LW126 were successfully sequenced and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The sequences shared high homology with LSDV/Russia/Saratov/2017, a recombinant vaccine-like strain formerly identified in Russia, and clustered with LSDV vaccine strains in phylogenetic trees of RPO30 and LW126. However, the GPCR gene was seen to be solely clustered with LSDV field strains, implying differences in host affinity between these closely related vaccine-like strains. Despite this, there is no direct evidence to support cross-border transmission of the vaccine-like LSDV. To our knowledge, this is the first report of vaccine-like LSDV DNA detection in non-biting flies in China.