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Characterization of a Nigerian Lumpy Skin Disease Virus Isolate after Experimental Infection of Cattle

Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), together with sheeppox virus and goatpox virus, belong to the genus Capripoxvirus within the family Poxviridae. Collectively, they are considered the most serious poxvirus diseases of agricultural livestock. Due to their severe clinical course and consequent loss of production, as well as high mortality of naïve small and large ruminant populations, they are known to have a significant impact on the economy and global trade restrictions of affected countries. Therefore, all capripox diseases are classified as notifiable under the guidelines of the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE). Since the 1970s, several outbreaks of LSD have been recorded in Nigeria. Until now, only a little information on the virus strains leading to the reported outbreaks have been published, dealing mainly with the phylogenetic relationship of those strains and the description of field outbreaks. During the present study, we experimentally infected cattle with a low-passage Nigerian LSDV strain isolated from a skin sample of LSD positive cattle in Nigeria in 2018. Clinical, molecular and serological data indicate that this LSDV isolate is highly pathogenic in cattle since it induced a severe clinical course and approximately 33% mortality in naïve Holstein Friesian cattle after experimental infection.

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