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Transbound Emerg Dis. 2008 Sep;55(7):299-307. doi: 10.1111/j.1865-1682.2008.01024.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

Quantification of lumpy skin disease virus following experimental infection in cattle.

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National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease, Winnipeg MB, Canada.


Lumpy skin disease along with sheep pox and goatpox are the most serious poxvirus diseases of livestock, and are caused by viruses that belong to the genus Capripoxvirus within the subfamily Chordopoxvirinae, family Poxviridae. To facilitate the study of lumpy skin disease pathogenesis, we inoculated eight 4- to 6-month-old Holstein calves intravenously with lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) and collected samples over a period of 42 days for analysis by virus isolation, real-time PCR and light microscopy. Following inoculation, cattle developed fever and skin nodules, with the extent of infection varying between animals. Skin nodules remained visible until the end of the experiment on day post-inoculation (DPI) 42. Viremia measured by real-time PCR and virus isolation was not observed in all animals but was detectable between 6 and 15 DPI. Low levels of viral shedding were observed in oral and nasal secretions between 12 and 18 DPI. Several tissues were assessed for the presence of virus at DPI 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18 and 42 by virus isolation and real-time PCR. Virus was consistently detected by real-time PCR and virus isolation at high levels in skin nodules indicating LSDV has a tropism for skin. In contrast, relatively few lesions were observed systemically. Viral DNA was detected by real-time PCR in skin lesions collected on DPI 42. Cattle developing anti-capripoxvirus antibodies starting at DPI 21 was detected by serum neutralization. The disease in this study varied from mild with few secondary skin nodules to generalized infection of varying severity, and was characterized by morbidity with no mortality.

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