– : “India’s Lumpy Skin Cattle Virus Tracked by Multi-Institutional Team”

By | April 3, 2024

By Trend News Line 2024-04-03 11:19:00.

Investigation into Lumpy Skin Cattle Disease Outbreak

In a recent breaking news development, a team of researchers from various institutions has shed light on the evolution and origins of the virus strains responsible for the devastating outbreak of lumpy skin disease in cattle across India. According to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the outbreak, which began in May 2022, has claimed the lives of approximately 1,00,000 cows, sparking a national emergency.

Identification of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus

The outbreak has been attributed to a viral infection caused by the Lumpy Skin Disease Virus (LSDV), which is transmitted by insects such as flies and mosquitoes. The disease manifests in cattle through symptoms like fever and skin nodules, and in severe cases, it can be fatal. LSDV was first discovered in Zambia in 1931 and was initially confined to the Sub-African region. However, its spread to other parts of the world, including South Asia, has been observed since 1989.

Genomic Analysis of LSDV Strains

To investigate the current outbreak, the research team collected samples from infected cattle in various states, including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. Through advanced whole-genome sequencing, the team identified two distinct LSDV variants circulating in India. One variant exhibited a low number of genetic variations and was genetically similar to strains from previous outbreaks, while the other variant showed a high number of genetic variations, resembling strains from a 2015 outbreak in Russia.

Implications of Genetic Variations

The presence of a large number of genetic variations in the highly diverse LSDV strains found in the Indian outbreak was a surprising discovery. These variations, which include deletions, insertions, and single-letter changes in DNA, were predominantly observed in viral genes crucial for binding to host cells, evading the immune response, and replicating efficiently. The team believes that these genetic variations could explain the severity of the disease and enhance the virus’s ability to cause harm to cattle.

One Health Approach and Collaborative Efforts

The study exemplifies the “One Health” approach, where multidisciplinary teams collaborate to address issues of national significance. In this case, molecular biologists, computational experts, and veterinary doctors came together to investigate the lumpy skin disease outbreak. The collaboration between veterinary experts and scientific institutions played a crucial role in tracing the variants across the country, highlighting the importance of field knowledge and expertise in understanding and combating emerging infectious diseases.

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In conclusion, the insights gained from this study could pave the way for improved diagnostics, vaccines, and interventions to tackle emerging infectious diseases that pose a threat to livestock and livelihoods. By characterising the genomic landscape of LSDV during the Indian outbreak, researchers hope to contribute to the development of targeted strategies for disease control and prevention..

“Multi-institutional team tracks virus behind India’s lumpy skin cattle”
“Multi-institutional team tracks virus lumpy skin cattle”.

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