Lumpy skin disease III. Data collection and analysis
In 2018, no lumpy skin disease (LSD) outbreaks were reported in the Balkan region, after the decline reported in 2017 (385) compared to 2016 (7,483). This confirms the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign based on the LSD homologous vaccine strain which continued throughout 2018 with over 2.5 million animals vaccinated, keeping the mean vaccination coverage above 70%. In 2018, LSD outbreaks were reported in Russia, Turkey and Georgia. In Russia, the LSD epidemics expanded northward and eastward, while in Turkey, the most affected region was in the east. LSD is spreading in Turkey since 2013, despite large vaccination campaigns with heterologous vaccine performed since 2014. This might support the hypothesis that the use of heterologous vaccines results in insufficient protection, and therefore, the use of homologous LSD vaccine in Turkey should be considered to prevent further spread. As the LSD epidemic in Turkey is a risk for reintroduction into the EU, it is recommended to continue the vaccination campaigns in 2019 in the high‐risk areas of Balkan region. Spread rates of LSD within a village were estimated from outbreak data for Albania, which can be used to inform the level of vaccination required to control an outbreak in a village. In terms of vaccine safety, the reports from the field suggest that, compared to the large number of animals vaccinated in the Balkan region since 2015, a very limited number of side effects have been recorded so far, although from published literature, local or even systemic side effects in some animals may occur after vaccination. However, due to inadequate study design in the reviewed studies, there is no consensus on the magnitude of such effects and on their real consequences on production.