Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide


lumpy skin disease virus



lumpy skin disease virus


  • Last modified
  • 13 July 2020
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Vector of Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • lumpy skin disease virus
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Virus
  •   Group: "ssDNA viruses"
  •     Group: "DNA viruses"
  •       Family: Poxviridae
  •         Subfamily: Chordopoxvirinae

Don't need the entire report?

Generate a print friendly version containing only the sections you need.

Generate report


Top of page
Electron micrograph of virus particles (scale bar = 200 nm)
TitleVirus particles
CaptionElectron micrograph of virus particles (scale bar = 200 nm)
CopyrightF. Glyn Davies
Electron micrograph of virus particles (scale bar = 200 nm)
Virus particlesElectron micrograph of virus particles (scale bar = 200 nm)F. Glyn Davies


Top of page

Preferred Scientific Name

  • lumpy skin disease virus

International Common Names

  • English: Neethling virus

English acronym

  • LSDV

Taxonomic Tree

Top of page
  • Domain: Virus
  •     Group: "ssDNA viruses"
  •         Group: "DNA viruses"
  •             Family: Poxviridae
  •                 Subfamily: Chordopoxvirinae
  •                     Genus: Capripoxvirus
  •                         Species: lumpy skin disease virus

Distribution Table

Top of page

The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 14 Dec 2021
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes


AlgeriaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
BotswanaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2018
Burkina FasoPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
BurundiPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2018
Cabo VerdeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Central African RepublicAbsent, No presence record(s)
Congo, Democratic Republic of thePresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
Côte d'IvoirePresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
EritreaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
Guinea-BissauAbsent, No presence record(s)
KenyaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
MalawiPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2018
MoroccoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
NigerPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
Saint HelenaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
São Tomé and PríncipeAbsentJul-Dec-2019
SenegalPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
SeychellesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
Sierra LeoneAbsentJan-Jun-2018
SomaliaPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2020
South AfricaPresentJul-Dec-2019
SudanPresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
TunisiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019


AfghanistanAbsent, No presence record(s)
BruneiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Hong KongPresentJul-Dec-2020
IndonesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
JapanAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2020
KyrgyzstanAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
MalaysiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
-Peninsular MalaysiaAbsent, No presence record(s)
-SabahAbsent, No presence record(s)
-SarawakAbsent, No presence record(s)
MaldivesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
MongoliaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
North KoreaAbsent, No presence record(s)
PakistanAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2020
PalestinePresent, LocalizedJul-Dec-2019
PhilippinesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Saudi ArabiaPresentJul-Dec-2020
SingaporeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
South KoreaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Sri LankaPresentJul-Dec-2020
TurkmenistanAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
United Arab EmiratesAbsentJul-Dec-2020
UzbekistanAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019


AndorraAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
AustriaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
BelarusAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
BelgiumAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Bosnia and HerzegovinaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
CroatiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
CyprusAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
CzechiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
DenmarkAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
EstoniaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Faroe IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
Federal Republic of YugoslaviaAbsent, No presence record(s)
FinlandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
FranceAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
GermanyAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
HungaryAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
IcelandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
IrelandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Isle of ManAbsent, No presence record(s)
ItalyAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
JerseyAbsent, No presence record(s)
LatviaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
LithuaniaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
LuxembourgAbsent, No presence record(s)
MaltaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
MoldovaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2020
NetherlandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
North MacedoniaAbsentJul-Dec-2019
NorwayAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
PolandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
PortugalAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
RomaniaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
San MarinoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Serbia and MontenegroAbsent, No presence record(s)
SlovakiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
SloveniaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
SpainAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
SwedenAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
SwitzerlandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
UkraineAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
United KingdomAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
-Northern IrelandAbsent, No presence record(s)

North America

BahamasAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
BarbadosAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
BelizeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
BermudaAbsent, No presence record(s)
British Virgin IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)
CanadaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Cayman IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Costa RicaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
CubaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
CuraçaoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
DominicaAbsent, No presence record(s)
Dominican RepublicAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
El SalvadorAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
GreenlandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
GuadeloupeAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
GuatemalaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
HaitiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
HondurasAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
JamaicaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
MartiniqueAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
MexicoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
NicaraguaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
PanamaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Saint Kitts and NevisAbsent, No presence record(s)
Saint LuciaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Trinidad and TobagoAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2018
United StatesAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019


AustraliaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Cook IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Federated States of MicronesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
FijiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
French PolynesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
KiribatiAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2018
Marshall IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
New CaledoniaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
New ZealandAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
PalauAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2020
SamoaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
Timor-LesteAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
VanuatuAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019

South America

ArgentinaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
BoliviaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
BrazilAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
ChileAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
ColombiaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
EcuadorAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
Falkland IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
French GuianaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
GuyanaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018
ParaguayAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
PeruAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
SurinameAbsent, No presence record(s)Jan-Jun-2019
UruguayAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2019
VenezuelaAbsent, No presence record(s)Jul-Dec-2018

Pathogen Characteristics

Top of page

Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) is a member of the genus Capripoxvirus in the family Poxviridae. It is closely related to the other two capripoxviruses Sheeppox virus and Goatpox virus. The three viruses can be distinguished by genome analysis, but cannot be differentiated serologically (OIE, 2017). The 151-kbp LSDV genome consists of a central coding region bounded by identical 2.4 kbp-inverted terminal repeats and contains 156 putative genes (Tulman et al., 2001).

The early studies in South Africa showed that a transmissible agent was involved in the aetiology of lumpy skin disease (LSD), and that it was not due to an allergic response to insect bites. However, early attempts to isolate the virus in tissue cultures were complicated by the isolation of three different virus groups from tissues that were taken from lesion samples. Firstly researchers isolated a herpes virus, which was subsequently shown to be bovine herpes virus group 2, subsequently known to cause Allerton or pseudo lumpy skin disease. On sub-inoculation into cattle, it produces an initial reaction, which for 1-2 days resembles that produced by LSD. This is a focal inflammation of the skin, which after 3-4 days rapidly becomes necrotic only in the very superficial epidermal and dermal layers (Alexander et al.,1957); the same virus causes bovine herpes mammilitis, which is a similar superficial necrotic disease affecting mainly the udder (Gibbs and Rweyemamu, 1977). A second herpes virus was isolated which belonged to the orphan herpes virus group 3. These are regularly isolated from the skin and other tissues of cattle and are not known to be associated with any disease problem. They do mislead diagnosticians however, who find herpes virus particles in LSD skin lesions (House et al., 1990).

A third virus isolate from the LSD lesions proved to be the one that reproduced the disease upon sub-inoculation into cattle. This was a poxvirus whose morphology and other characteristics suggested that it might be an orthopox virus. Further tests showed that the LSD virus was serologically and immunologically virtually identical with sheep and goat poxviruses of the Capripox genus (Alexander et al., 1957; Haig, 1957; Davies et al., 1971: Davies and Atema, 1981).

Capripox virus particles are ovoid in shape and both LSD and the sheep and goat isolates appear to be of similar size; 294 nm long and 262 nm wide with standard deviations of approximately +/- 20 nm. They have double stranded DNA and appear in forms covered by a membrane or mulberry-like components, similar to those described for members of the Orthopox viruses, which they closely resemble (Munz and Owen, 1966). The core has a characteristic dumbbell shape. The virus is ether- and chloroform-sensitive, it loses infectivity after 1 h at 60°C, is sensitive to sodium desoxycholate, losing infectivity after 1 h and is acid sensitive (Weiss, 1968). The virus, like most poxviruses, is stable over a wide range of temperatures and is highly resistant to desiccation in the presence of proteinaceous material. LSDV can survive for long periods at ambient temperature, especially in dried scabs. LSDV is very resistant to inactivation, surviving in necrotic skin nodules for up to 33 days or longer, desiccated crusts for up to 35 days, and at least 18 days in air-dried hides. It can remain viable for long periods in the environment. The virus is susceptible to sunlight and detergents containing lipid solvents, but in dark environmental conditions, such as contaminated animal sheds, it can persist for many months (OIE, 2017).

Strain variation

All strains that have been isolated are serologically and immunologically identical. All Capripox viruses are very closely related with 95.8% homology of the nucleotide sequences, but LSD is most closely allied to the African group of Capripox viruses, which include the sheep and goat poxviruses found in Africa. Other groups are from sheep or goats in other parts of the world and from either sheep or goats in Africa and the Middle East (Kitching et al., 1989). LSD virus is virtually indistinguishable from the African sheeppox and goatpox strains other than by its level of host adaptation in producing clinical LSD in cattle (Davies and Atema, 1981).

All the natural strains of LSDV that have been isolated have been pathogenic, and no naturally occurring strains with modified virulence have been found. A strain from South Africa has been found to have greatly reduced virulence after 60 passages in tissue cultures and then 20 times in embryonated eggs. It is immunogenic and is extensively used as a vaccine despite the fact that it produces a granulomatous reaction at the site of inoculation (Weiss, 1968). A Kenyan LSDV strain showed no modification of virulence after 70 passages in a foetal muscle cell line. 

Lumpy skin disease is on the list of diseases notifiable to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The distribution section contains data from OIE's Handistatus database on disease occurrence. For recent, detailed information on the occurrence of this disease worldwide, see the OIE World Animal Health Information Database (WAHIS) Interface.

Host Animals

Top of page
Animal nameContextLife stageSystem
Aepyceros melampusExperimental settings
Bos grunniens (yaks)Wild host
Bos indicus (zebu)Domesticated host
Bos taurus (cattle)Domesticated host
Bubalus bubalis (Asian water buffalo)Domesticated host
Capra hircus (goats)Experimental settings
Gazella thomsoniiExperimental settings
Giraffa camelopardalisExperimental settings
Oryx leucoryxWild host
Ovis aries (sheep)Experimental settings

Vectors and Intermediate Hosts

Top of page
Amblyomma hebraeumTick
Musca confiscataInsect
Stomoxys calcitransInsect


Top of page

Alexander RA, Plowright W, Haig DA, 1957. Cytopathic agents associated with lumpy skin disease of cattle. Bulletin Epizootic Diseases of Africa, 5:489-492

Davies FG, Atema C, 1981. Relationships of capripox viruses found in Kenya with two Middle eastern strains and some orthopox viruses. Res. Vet. Sci., 31:253-255

Davies FG, Krauss H, Lund LJ, Taylor M, 1971. The laboratory diagnosis of lumpy skin disease. Res. Vet. Sci., 12:123-127

Gibbs EPJ, Rweyemamu MM, 1977. Bovine herpes viruses 2 & 3. Vet. Bull., 47:411-425

Haig DA, 1957. Lumpy Skin disease. Bull. Epiz. Dis. Afr., 5:421-430

House JA, Wilson TM, El Nakashly S, Karim IA, Ismail I, El Danaf N, Moussa AM, Ayoub NN, 1990. The isolation of lumpy skin disease virus and bovine herpesvirus-4 from cattle in Egypt. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 2(2):111-115; 15 ref

Kitching PR, Bhat BP, Black DN, 1989. The characterisation of African strains of capripoxvirus. Epid. Inf., 102:335-343

Munz EK, Owen NC, 1966. Electron microscope studies on Lumpy skin disease virus type Neethling. Onderstepoort, J. Vet. Res., 33:1-8

OIE Handistatus, 2002. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2001). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties

OIE Handistatus, 2003. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2002). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties

OIE Handistatus, 2004. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (data set for 2003). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties

OIE Handistatus, 2005. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (data set for 2004). Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties

OIE, 2017. Lumpy skin disease (updated July 2017). In: OIE Technical disease cards, Paris, France: World Organisation for Animal Health.

Tulman, E. R., Afonso, C. L., Lu, Z., Zsak, L., Kutish, G. F., Rock, D. L., 2001. Genome of lumpy skin disease virus. Journal of Virology, 75(15), 7122-7130. doi: 10.1128/JVI.75.15.7122-7130.2001

Weiss KE, 1968. Lumpy skin disease. In: Virology Monographs, Vol. 3. Vienna, Austria; New York, USA: Springer-Verlag, 111-131

Distribution References

OIE Handistatus, 2005. World Animal Health Publication and Handistatus II (dataset for 2004)., Paris, France: Office International des Epizooties.

OIE, 2018. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jul-Dec. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated.

OIE, 2018a. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jan-Jun. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated.

OIE, 2019. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jul-Dec. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated.

OIE, 2019a. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jan-Jun. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated.

OIE, 2020. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS): Jul-Dec. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated.

OIE, 2020a. World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). Jan-Jun. In: OIE-WAHIS Platform, Paris, France: OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health). unpaginated.

Distribution Maps

Top of page
You can pan and zoom the map
Save map
Select a dataset
Map Legends
  • CABI Summary Records
Map Filters
Third party data sources: