The Development of Dual Vaccines against Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and Bovine Ephemeral Fever (BEF)

Dual vaccines (<i>n</i> = 6) against both lumpy skin disease (LSD) and bovine ephemeral fever (BEF) were constructed, based on the BEFV glycoprotein (G) gene, with or without the BEFV matrix (M) protein gene, inserted into one of two different LSDV backbones, nLSDV∆SOD-UCT or nLSDVSODis-UCT. The inserted gene cassettes were confirmed by PCR; and BEFV protein was shown to be expressed by immunofluorescence. The candidate dual vaccines were initially tested in a rabbit model; neutralization assays using the South African BEFV vaccine (B-Phemeral) strain showed an African consensus G protein gene (Gb) to give superior neutralization compared to the Australian (Ga) gene. The two LSDV backbones expressing both Gb and M BEFV genes were tested in cattle and shown to elicit neutralizing responses to LSDV as well as BEFV after two inoculations 4 weeks apart. The vaccines were safe in cattle and all vaccinated animals were protected against virulent LSDV challenge, unlike a group of control naïve animals, which developed clinical LSD. Both neutralizing and T cell responses to LSDV were stimulated upon challenge. After two inoculations, all vaccinated animals produced BEFV neutralizing antibodies ≥ 1/20, which is considered protective for BEF.