Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is a poxvirus disease of cattle, including zebus, a few cases have been reported in Asian water buffalo. It is among the major health problems affecting the livestock industry of most African countries.

Causative agent

LSD is caused by lumpy skin disease virus from the family Poxviridae, genus Capripoxvirus. Sheep Pox virus (SPPV) and Goat Pox virus (GTPV) are other two virus species in this genus.


LSD is endemic in most African and Middle Eastern countries. In 2015 and 2016 the disease spread to South East Europe, the Balkans, Caucasus, Russia and Kazakhstan.


Morbidity level is 5-50%; mortality is usually low and ranges between 1% and 3%. Susceptibility of the host depends on immune status, age, and breed. The greatest economic loss is due to reduced milk yield. Dairy cattle that are severely affected, experience up to 50% drop in milk production, secondary mastitis, abortion and intrauterine infection are possible; temporary or permanent sterility in both bulls and cows may occur. General debilitation and severe damage to hides are other serious sequelae of the disease.


Outbreaks are sporadic and usually occur during warm, wet weather and diminish during the cooler winter months. These characteristics strongly suggest insect-borne transmission, such as mosquitoes and ticks, however, there is no evidence of virus multiplication vectors, but it cannot be excluded.

Clinical signs

The incubation period is usually 6-9 days until the onset of fever. In acute infection there is an initial pyrexia (may exceed 41°C ) that is persistent for 1 week, enlargement of superficial lymph nodes, reduced milk production in lactating animals, cutaneous lesions (nodules might become necrotic) all over the body (especially head, neck, udder, scrotum, vulva and peritoneum), depression, anorexia, excessive salivation, ocular and nasal discharge, agalactia and emaciation.


There is no treatment for the virus, however, there are several attenuated vaccines against LSD e.g from Kevavapi, MCI and OBP, and some Neethling based LSD vaccine from MSD and Understepoort are also available. These vaccines are >80% effective experimentally and in the field conditions in prevention of disease. Successful control and eradication of LSD depend on early detection of the index case and initiation of vaccination ahead of virus entry. Secondary infection in the skin can be treated with the administration of antibiotics and NSAID.  Good nursing is recommended.

For further information, view our LSD product development work.