The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of vaccination in preventing LSDV excretion in semen and negative effects on semen quality. Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is caused by a virus in the genus Capripoxvirus of the family Poxviridae. The virus has been reported to be excreted in the semen of experimental infected nonvaccinated bulls. Nevertheless, vaccination has been the most widely used method to reduce and prevent the spread of the disease. This work was done to determine the efficacy of lumpy skin disease vaccination in preventing the excretion of lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) in semen of experimentally infected vaccinated bulls. It also determined further the effect of vaccination and experimental infection on semen quality. Six serologically negative bulls 11-16 months of age were vaccinated with an attenuated Neethling strain of LSD vaccine, and a repeated dose of vaccine was given twenty one days later. These bulls were then experimentally infected by intravenous injection with a virulent field strain of LSDV (V248/93). Six unvaccinated bulls were similarly infected to act as controls. All animals were observed for clinical signs, blood and semen was collected and evaluated twice a week until day 40 post vaccination and every two days until day 28 post-infection when the trial was terminated. Serology was done using the serum neutralization test and viraemia was determined by virus isolation. Semen was examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the presence of virus. Semen evaluation was done visually and microscopically. Two of the unvaccinated controls developed severe LSD, two showed mild symptoms and two were asymptomatic. No clinical abnormalities were detected following vaccination, and clinical signs were limited to mild lymph node enlargement in four bulls following challenge of the vaccinated bulls. There was a significant difference (P<0.05) in semen quality after experimental infection of the unvaccinated bulls. In the vaccinated bulls, semen quality showed no significant difference (P>0.05) following vaccination and challenge. Three of the vaccinated bulls were serologically positive at the time of experimental infection and four at the end of the trial. Five unvaccinated bulls were found to be viraemic during the course of the trial. No vaccinated bulls were found to be viraemic at any stage. Four unvaccinated bulls excreted the virus in their semen during the course of the trial. Viral nucleic acid was not detected in any semen samples following vaccination or challenge in vaccinated bulls. This study provides evidence that vaccination against LSD prevented the excretion of viral particles in semen. It also illustrated that LSD vaccination prevented any effect on semen quality after experimental infection with virulent virus.
Dissertation (MSc (Production Animal Studies))--University of Pretoria, 2006.