Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a tropical neglected viral disease of cattle, characterised by numerous cutaneous lesions disseminated throughout the body. Historically endemic to the African continent, it has become a threat to Europe following the outbreaks of LSD in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

LSD virus (LSDV) is a Capripoxvirus transmitted by insect vectors. Experimental and epidemiological studies have indicated a role for the stable fly () and the mosquito . Nevertheless the relative importance of these vector species and others is unclear. A study was designed to explore the risk of transmission of LSDV from cattle to different vector species including , , and . Cattle was challenged with LSDV to produce a bovine experimental model used as a natural source of LSDV to the potential vectors. Cattle samples were taken to quantify LSDV in different tissues and characterise the disease. All insect species were allowed to feed on LSDV-challenged cattle at regular intervals and incubated for up to eight days. This data was then used to model the dynamics of LSDV infection and transmission. All four species were able to acquire and maintain LSDV for up to eight days post feeding, and the risk of transmission from bovine donor to insect was dependent on the severity of the disease. A model was then generated using ex-vivo skin lesions and infectious blood that will allow further studies of the role of these vectors.

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