Molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of lumpy skin disease virus from outbreaks in Uganda 2017-2018

Sylvester Ochwo, Kimberly Vanderwaal, Christian Ndekezi, Joseph Nkamwesiga, Anna Munsey, Sarah Gift Witto, Noelina Nantima, Franklin Mayanja, Anna Rose Ademun Okurut, David Kalenzi Atuhaire, Frank Norbert Mwiine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is an infectious viral disease of cattle caused by a Capripoxvirus. LSD has substantial economic implications, with infection resulting in permanent damage to the skin of affected animals which lowers their commercial value. In Uganda, LSD is endemic and cases of the disease are frequently reported to government authorities. This study was undertaken to molecularly characterize lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) strains that have been circulating in Uganda between 2017 and 2018. Secondly, the study aimed to determine the phylogenetic relatedness of Ugandan LSDV sequences with published sequences, available in GenBank. Results: A total of 7 blood samples and 16 skin nodule biopsies were screened for LSDV using PCR to confirm presence of LSDV nucleic acids. PCR positive samples were then characterised by amplifying the GPCR gene. These amplified genes were sequenced and phylogenetic trees were constructed. Out of the 23 samples analysed, 15 were positive for LSDV by PCR (65.2%). The LSDV GPCR sequences analysed contained the unique signatures of LSDV (A11, T12, T34, S99, and P199) which further confirmed their identity. Sequence comparison with vaccine strains revealed a 12 bp deletion unique to Ugandan outbreak strains. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the LSDV sequences from this study clustered closely with sequences from neighboring East African countries and with LSDV strains from recent outbreaks in Europe. It was noted that the sequence diversity amongst LSDV strains from Africa was higher than diversity from Eurasia. Conclusion: The LSDV strains circulating in Uganda were closely related with sequences from neighboring African countries and from Eurasia. Comparison of the GPCR gene showed that outbreak strains differed from vaccine strains. This information is necessary to understand LSDV molecular epidemiology and to contribute knowledge towards the development of control strategies by the Government of Uganda.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 21 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center and DAAD Germany, and they had no role in the design and execution of the study as well as the decision to publish this manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • GPCR
  • Lumpy skin disease
  • Molecular detection
  • Phylogenetic analysis
  • Uganda


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular detection and phylogenetic analysis of lumpy skin disease virus from outbreaks in Uganda 2017-2018'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this