Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an emerging poxviral disease of cattle caused by the Capripoxvirus lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) which generates widespread cutaneous lesions in affected animals. LSD is recognised as a transboundary high consequence disease in Africa where it contributes to rural poverty and food insecurity. In 2015 LSDV spread to southeastern Europe and currently poses a threat to cattle in neighbouring regions. Previous research indicates that LSDV is most likely transmitted by insect vectors however details of transmission pathways are unclear. This study was designed to identify the risk of transmission of LSDV posed by different insect vectors. A bovine experimental model of LSD was established in the high containment facilities at The Pirbright Institute. Potential insect vectors (Aedes aegypti, Culex quinquefasciatus, Stomoxys calcitrans and Culicoides nubeculosus) were fed on LSDV-infected cattle then incubated for up to eight days. Cattle and insects were regularly sampled to quantify LSDV present in different tissues and vector species. This data was then used to model the dynamics of LSDV infection and transmission. All four species of vector successfully acquired LSDV from infected cattle and maintained the virus up to eight days post feeding. The outputs of this research will now be used to design more effective LSD control programmes.

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