Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an important disease of cattle which is included in the OIE list of notifiable terrestrial animal diseases because of its great economic importance. The etiological agent is the Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV).
In the control of LSD attenuated strains of LSDV and SPPV are successfully used as vaccine strains in infected areas. In the case of vaccination policy, due to the possibility of mild or systemic post-vaccination reactions in vaccinated animals, the application of diagnostic procedures that will rapidly and specifically differentiate LSDV field strains from LSD vaccine virus strains are extremely important. Rapidity in diagnostics and disposal of infected animals is one of the key factors in the prevention of spreading the disease.
In the presented study we have described the development and validation of two real-time TaqMan-PCR assays for a rapid, sensitive and specific detection of the virulent field LSDV strain currently circulating in the Balkan Peninsula. Specificity for the field strain and exclusivity for vaccine strains was tested on 171 samples from naturally infected and vaccinated animals.
The results of this study show that both developed real-time PCR assays are more sensitive than the conventional nested PCR in detecting field LSDV strains thus enabling rapid and high-throughput detection of animals infected with field strains of LSDV.
In conclusion, both KV-2 and FLI real-time PCR assays described in this study are simple, rapid, sensitive and suitable for routine use in a diagnostic laboratory and have the potential to replace conventional nested gel-based PCR assays as the standard procedure for the detection of field strains of LSDV in clinical samples.