in ,

Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreak in India | Explore More

lumpy skin cattles
This study offers valuable insights for developing improved diagnostics, vaccines, and interventions against Lumpy Skin Disease and other emerging livestock diseases.

Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreak in India
Tracing the Virus with Genomics

A multi-institutional team has uncovered key insights into the origins and evolution of the Lumpy Skin Disease Virus (LSDV) strains responsible for the devastating cattle outbreak in India. This research, published in BMC Genomics, sheds light on the factors contributing to the severity of the disease and paves the way for improved diagnostics and vaccines.

National Emergency: Cattle Deaths and the Mystery Disease

In May 2022, a mysterious illness began sweeping across India, claiming the lives of over 100,000 cows. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) identified the culprit as Lumpy Skin Disease, a viral infection transmitted by insects like flies and mosquitoes. This disease, characterized by fever and debilitating skin nodules, had never before caused such a large-scale outbreak in the country.

Learn Gavi urged to execute the hepatitis B birth campaign

Tracing the Outbreak: Sequencing and Collaboration

Professor Utpal Tatu of IISc led a team that delved into the cause of the outbreak. They collected samples from infected cattle across various Indian states and performed whole-genome sequencing. A key challenge was the lack of established protocols for LSDV analysis; the team adapted techniques used in COVID-19 research.

Two Variants Identified: Severity and Genetic Diversity

The analysis revealed two distinct LSDV variants circulating in India. One variant harbored fewer genetic variations and resembled strains identified in previous outbreaks (2019 and 2020). The more concerning discovery was a highly diverse variant similar to strains found in a 2015 Russian outbreak. This high level of variation, uncommon for DNA viruses like LSDV, could explain the increased disease severity observed in India.

lumpy skin cattles
This study offers valuable insights for developing improved diagnostics, vaccines, and interventions against Lumpy Skin Disease and other emerging livestock diseases.

Learn Medical Research Scientist: Is This Your Dream Career?

Genetic Variations and Enhanced Virulence

The research identified over 1,800 genetic variations in the highly diverse LSDV variant, including changes in genes crucial for cell binding, immune response evasion, and viral replication. These variations potentially enhanced the virus’s ability to cause severe illness in cattle.

Implications for the Future: Vaccines and “One Health” Approach

This study offers valuable insights for developing improved diagnostics, vaccines, and interventions against Lumpy Skin Disease and other emerging livestock diseases. The identified “molecular hotspots” within the virus can be targeted by vaccines. This research exemplifies the “One Health” approach, where scientists from diverse fields collaborate to address critical public health issues. The collaboration between veterinary doctors, molecular biologists, and computational experts was crucial for understanding the outbreak and tracing the viral variants across the country.

Learn Monkeypox cases confirmed in 58 countries; Explore Now

Written by Dr. Evelyn Karen

Dr. Evelyn Karen is a highly regarded Internal Medicine Physician with over 20 years of experience in Manila. Dr. Karen is passionate about patient well-being and champions innovative practices, including integrative medicine, telemedicine, and community outreach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *