Lumpy skin disease: scientific and technical assistance on control and surveillance activities

lumpy skin disease, spread, vaccine, mathematical model, surveillance, diagnostic test
First published in the EFSA Journal
16 October 2018
28 September 2018
Scientific Report of EFSA


The duration of the vaccination campaign sufficient to eliminate lumpy skin disease (LSD) mainly depends on the vaccination effectiveness and coverage achieved. By using a spread epidemiological model, assuming a vaccination effectiveness of 65%, with 50% and 90% coverage, 3 and 4 years campaigns, respectively, are needed to eliminate LSD. When vaccination effectiveness is 80% to 95%, 2 years of vaccination at coverage of 90% is sufficient to eliminate LSD virus (LSDV). For shorter campaigns, LSD is predicted to persist. When the infection is eliminated by vaccination, two pathways for disease recurrence are possible, (i) by new introduction from a neighbouring affected area, especially by introduction of infected animals, or, less likely (ii) the infection persisting either in the environment, in vectors or in wild animals. For planning surveillance, several elements should be considered: the objectives and related design prevalence, the epidemiological situation, the immunological status of the host population, the geographical area and the season, the type of surveillance (active or passive), the diagnostic methods including clinical detection (considered the most effective method for early detection of LSD), the target population, the sample size and frequency. According to the model, for early detecting new introductions of LSD, it may be needed to clinically check a large number of herds (e.g. 2–3,000 herds) monthly. Lower sample sizes can be considered, when a greater delay in detecting the virus is acceptable. Where vaccination is maintained, active surveillance for verifying the effectiveness of vaccination would be needed. Demonstrating disease absence can rely on serological surveillance, which should consider the test sensitivity, the design prevalence (estimated value: 3.5%), the onset and duration of serum antibodies. Important knowledge gaps on LSD are about within-herd transmission, duration of protective immunity, role of vectors, diagnostic tests, farm location and type in the at-risk countries and the epidemiological status of neighbouring countries.

European Food Safety Authority
alpha [at]
EFSA Journal 2018;16(10):5452
Question Number
On request from
European Commission