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Clinical Epidemiology, Pathology, and Molecular Investigation of Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreaks in Bangladesh during 2020–2021 Indicate the Re-Emergence of an Old African Strain

Lumpy skin disease (LSD) emerged in Bangladesh in mid-2019, leading to great economic losses for cattle farmers. This study describes the recent occurrence of the LSDV in Bangladesh and examines the clinical manifestation of the disease in local cattle breeds, characteristic epidemiological features, and pathological findings in affected animals. In addition, a full-genome sequencing of two local LSDV isolates was carried out. A total of 565 animals from 88 households were investigated, and 165 samples (skin lesions, saliva, nasal discharge, feces, and milk) were collected for virus detection. Pathology and immunohistochemistry were performed on nodule biopsies. Fever, nodular skin lesions, and swelling of the joints were the most common clinical manifestations. Skin lesions had a higher concentration of viral DNA compared to other sample types and were therefore selected for virus isolation and characterization. Pathology of the LSD skin nodules comprised a granulomatous reaction in the dermis and hypodermis that extended to the surrounding tissues. Development of the skin lesions started with swelling of keratinocytes with cytoplasmic vacuolation, vasculitis, panniculitis, thrombosis, and infarction. Altogether, the LSDV produced transmural, hemorrhagic, necrotizing, proliferative and ulcerative dermatitis. The LSD viral antigen was detected occasionally in the macrophages, epithelial cells, and vascular smooth muscle cells. The complete genome sequence analysis revealed that the two Bangladeshi field strains (BD-V392.1 and BD-V395.1) were distinct from the contemporary field strains and were closely related to the ancestral African Neethling strain. The findings of this study will improve the diagnosis, monitoring, and control of LSD in Bangladesh.



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