Vaccination tackles lumpy skin disease in SE Europe

EFSA recommended vaccination in the region in August 2016

Mass vaccination of cattle succeeded in containing lumpy skin disease in south-eastern Europe in 2015-16, according to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

It based its conclusion on an epidemiological analysis it carried out in cooperation with countries affected by the disease and those at risk.

The report followed EFSA’s scientific advice published in August 2016, recommending vaccination to minimise the number of lumpy skin disease outbreaks in regions already affected or at risk.

‘Commitment, Cooperation’

“Despite the difficult epidemiological situation, all countries involved in the data collection have shown a high level of commitment and cooperation,” said Alessandro Broglia, veterinarian at EFSA.

Closeness to affected farms and warm temperatures, resulting in a higher presence of the insects that transmit the disease, are among the factors responsible for it spreading.

Experts recommended laboratory confirmation of suspected cases in vaccinated animals to differentiate the strains.

Economic losses

Lumpy skin disease is an infectious disease of cattle, which causes economic losses and, occasionally, is fatal. It is characterised by skin nodules.

It was previously limited to southern and eastern Africa. After it was confirmed in Turkey in 2013, the virus spread through south-eastern Europe. As of 2016, the disease was detected in seven European countries: Greece, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo.

EFSA experts worked with the competent authorities of these countries, plus Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkey, Romania, Croatia to produce its report.

It promised to provide further scientific advice at the beginning of next year.

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