Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an economically important acute or sub-acute disease of cattle that occurs
across Africa and in the Middle East. The aim of this study was to assess whether Rhipicephalus decoloratus
ticks were able to transmit lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) transovarially. Uninfected, laboratory-bred
R. decoloratus larvae were placed to feed on experimentally infected “donor” cattle. After completion of
the life cycle on donor animals, fully engorged adult female ticks were harvested and allowed to lay eggs.
Larvae that hatched from these eggs were then transferred to feed on uninfected “recipient” cattle. The
latter became viraemic and showed mild clinical disease with characteristic skin lesions and markedly
enlarged precrural and subscapular lymph nodes. This is the first report of transovarial transmission of
poxviruses by R. decoloratus ticks, and the importance of this mode of transmission in the spread of LSDV
in endemic settings requires further investigation.