Srinagar : Technocrats/ Researchers at Institute of Animal Health and Biological Products (IAH & BP), Zakura, Srinagar under the Department of Animal Husbandry Kashmir undertook the first complete genome sequencing of lumpy skin disease virus directly from a clinical sample in Kashmir valley.
Lumpy skin disease (LSD), a vector borne viral disease of cattle and buffalo which wrecked havoc in around 22 states/UTs of India including Jammu & Kashmir during the 2022 LSD outbreak.
In India the disease was reported for the first time in August 2019 in Odisha. The UT of Jammu & Kashmir was free from LSD until the first reported cases in August, 2022 from the twin villages of Gugloosa & Shumnag in district Kupwara.
The disease is characterized by fever, reduced milk production and skin nodules.
The World Organization for Animal Health categorizes LSD as a notifiable disease.
The DNA sample extracted from clinical specimen collected from the cow showing clinical signs consistent with LSD and confirmed positive for the disease at IAH & BP, Zakura was sequenced.
The next generation sequencing was performed on the Illumina platform. The sequenced data was successfully deposited in National Center for Biotechnology Information, Maryland, USA (NCBI).
Phylogenetic analysis of the complete genome sequence of the sample revealed its close relation with Kenyan strains already prevalent in India.
This is for the first time that the full genome of a virus of veterinary importance has been sequenced from the UT of Jammu & Kashmir.
The same data will also be shared with National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR-NIVEDI) for further bioinformatic analysis.
It is expected that the current study could prove instrumental in designing effective strategies to fight this emerging disease.