Buffalo-Pox is a viral disease that affects buffaloes, cattle, and other animals in India, causing skin eruptions and fever. It’s highly contagious and can infect humans who come into contact with infected animals. There is no specific treatment, but it can be prevented by keeping wounds clean and free from flies. Vaccine development has been unsuccessful.
Buffalo-Pox Management in Buffalo
Causes of Buffalo-Pox
Buffalo-Pox is caused by the buffalo-Pox virus (BPXV), a member of the family Poxviridae whose natural host is the buffalo. It primarily affects buffalo, although cows and people have also been reported. It belongs to the Orthopoxvirus (OPV) genus and the Chordopoxvirinae subfamily. Buffalo-Pox follows a pattern defined as emerging and re-emerging; it typically occurs in both sporadic and epidemic forms in residential and commercial agricultural settings.
Disease cycle of Buffalo-Pox
Buffalo-Pox is a viral disease that has been seen in buffalo since 1934. Cows and people are also susceptible to sickness. Outbreaks have occurred in Pakistan, Egypt, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Sand flies and midges are common vectors of the virus. Buffalo-Pox can cause lesions in numerous body regions, resulting in a 30-35% decrease in milk supply.
The buffalo-Pox cycle involves the disease infecting young and old buffaloes, which subsequently spreads to humans who come in touch with sick animals. It can lead to widespread infection, mastitis, and secondary bacterial infections. The disease may also be passed from buffalo to cows and milkmaids to both species.
What are the Symptoms of Buffalo-Pox Disease?
- Buffalo-Pox disease symptoms include a rise in body temperature after an incubation period of 2 to 5 days.
- The animal develops small, red spots and bumps that merge into vesicles, which heal within 15 to 20 days.
- The lesions mainly occur on the udder and teats in females and on the scrotum and inside of the thighs in males, which are often hidden from view due to dirt.
- The disease can result in high morbidity and productivity loss, especially in milk animals, as it causes mastitis and reduces milk yield.
- Mastitis occurs in about 50% of infected animals, and the reduction in milk production can be permanent in severe cases.
Diagnosis of Buffalo-Pox in Buffalo
Buffalo-Pox is diagnosed mostly based on clinical indicators and the animal’s history. Distinctive papules and vesicles on the skin and mucous membranes aid diagnosis. Microscopically, the fluid from the vesicles may be tested for poxvirus inclusion bodies. Serological assays such as ELISA and PCR can also be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
When in doubt, send the samples to a diagnostic laboratory for additional examination. It is critical to distinguish buffalo-Pox from other illnesses with similar clinical characteristics, such as bovine herpesvirus, bovine papular stomatitis, and vesicular stomatitis. A thorough inspection and history of the animal can aid in the right illness diagnosis.
Treatment and Control of Buffalo-Pox Disease