Assessing the probability of introduction and transmission of lumpy skin disease virus within the United Kingdom

Horigan, V. and Beard, P.M. and Roberts, H. and Adkin, A. and Gale, P. and Batten, C.A. and Kelly, L. (2018) Assessing the probability of introduction and transmission of lumpy skin disease virus within the United Kingdom. Microbial Risk Analysis, 9. pp. 1-10. ISSN 2352-3522 (

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Several emerging exotic diseases are currently oscillating on the eastern borders of the European Union (EU) including the bovine pathogen Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV). Given the recent transboundary spread of LSDV into the EU, assessing the probability of further expansion is an important part of EU surveillance and can inform policy regarding risk mitigation priorities. This qualitative assessment focuses on the probability of introduction and onward transmission of LSDV into the United Kingdom (UK) for the time period June 2017 to June 2018. Overall the probability of introduction was considered, at most, to be very low. The probability of onward transmission was considered highest for vector mediated routes either via contact of an infected vector with susceptible cattle or contact of a competent native vector with an infected cattle. Factors with high uncertainty were identified to emphasise their impact on the assessment conclusions and for future research requirements. Medium to high uncertainty surrounds the probability of introduction to the UK via several of the routes assessed, in particular, the species of vectors involved and the illegal/legal import of meat and milk products; all estimates made consequential to these probabilities are therefore underpinned by high uncertainty. Whilst the assessment was UK centric the knowledge gaps are relevant to the probability of introduction and spread of LSDV in any geographical region. The value of estimating uncertainty lies in the identification of research required to make conclusions more robust.