Pathogens can be either transmitted directly, through contact between animals, or indirectly, by fomites or vectors. The direct transmission of lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) between animals is rare, suggesting that it is primarily transmitted by blood-sucking arthropod vectors. This conjecture was based on several field observations, which included the high abundance of biting arthropods during epidemics of LSD (Davies 1991; Yeruham et al. 1995), lack of transmission of the disease in insect proof cattle pens and sharp reduction in occurrence of LSD during periods of cold weather with frosts, attributed to a reduction in insect vector population (Davies 1991). Support for the indirect transmission mode of LSD was shown by a controlled study performed on Friesian-cross cattle (Carn and Kitching 1995). In this study seven experiments were performed in which two infected animals were housed together with a susceptible animal for 28 days and were followed for the development of LSD typical clinical signs. In each of these experiments, at least one of the infected animals suffered either from generalized LSD clinical signs or from a severe localized lesion. However, no clinical signs were observed in the contact animals. Six of the seven in-contact animals showed no delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction to intradermal challenge at 28 days and were fully susceptible to subsequent challenge. Additional support was shown in a study performed during an LSD outbreak in a dairy farm in the south of Israel in 2006. The location of each animal in ten pens in the farm was recorded daily, and a mathematical model based on these data showed that indirect transmission is sufficient to explain the transmission of the virus between the cattle in the herd, while direct transmission had a negligible role, if any, in the spread of the virus (Magori-Cohen et al. 2012).
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