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      Effectiveness and practicality of control strategies for African swine fever: what do we really know?

      , DVM, MSc, PhD 1 , , DVM, MSc, PhD, DipECVPH 1 , , DVM 3 , , Full Professor of Animal Health, Dhc, PhD and DVM, 3 , , BSc, PhD 2 , , Tierarzt, DrMedVet, PhD, MANZCVSc, DipECVPH 1

      The Veterinary Record

      BMJ Publishing Group

      African swine fever, control strategies, expert elicitation, Best-worst scaling

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          African swine fever (ASF) is a major pig health problem, and the causative virus is moving closer to Western European regions where pig density is high. Stopping or slowing down the spread of ASF requires mitigation strategies that are both effective and practical. Based on the elicitation of ASF expert opinion, this study identified surveillance and intervention strategies for ASF that are perceived as the most effective by providing the best combination between effectiveness and practicality. Among the 20 surveillance strategies that were identified, passive surveillance of wild boar and syndromic surveillance of pig mortality were considered to be the most effective surveillance strategies for controlling ASF virus spread. Among the 22 intervention strategies that were identified, culling of all infected herds and movement bans for neighbouring herds were regarded as the most effective intervention strategies. Active surveillance and carcase removal in wild boar populations were rated as the most effective surveillance and intervention strategies, but were also considered to be the least practical, suggesting that more research is needed to develop more effective methods for controlling ASF in wild boar populations.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Course and transmission characteristics of oral low-dose infection of domestic pigs and European wild boar with a Caucasian African swine fever virus isolate.

          In 2007, African swine fever virus (ASFV) was introduced into the Transcaucasian countries and Russia. Since then, it has spread alarmingly and reached the European Union. ASFV strains are highly virulent and lead to almost 100% mortality under experimental conditions. However, the possibility of dose-dependent disease courses has been discussed. For this reason, a study was undertaken to assess the risk of chronic disease and the establishment of carriers upon low-dose oronasal infection of domestic pigs and European wild boar. It was demonstrated that very low doses of ASFV are sufficient to infect especially weak or runted animals by the oronasal route. Some of these animals did not show clinical signs indicative of ASF, and they developed almost no fever. However, no changes were observed in individual animal regarding the onset, course and outcome of infection as assessed by diagnostic tests. After amplification of ASFV by these animals, pen- and stablemates became infected and developed acute lethal disease with similar characteristics in all animals. Thus, we found no indication of prolonged or chronic individual courses upon low-dose infection in either species. The scattered onset of clinical signs and pathogen detection within and among groups confirms moderate contagiosity that is strongly linked with blood contact. In conclusion, the prolonged course at the "herd level" together with the exceptionally low dose that proved to be sufficient to infect a runted wild boar could be important for disease dynamics in wild-boar populations and in backyard settings.
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            Dynamics of African swine fever virus shedding and excretion in domestic pigs infected by intramuscular inoculation and contact transmission

            African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a highly virulent swine pathogen that has spread across Eastern Europe since 2007 and for which there is no effective vaccine or treatment available. The dynamics of shedding and excretion is not well known for this currently circulating ASFV strain. Therefore, susceptible pigs were exposed to pigs intramuscularly infected with the Georgia 2007/1 ASFV strain to measure those dynamics through within- and between-pen transmission scenarios. Blood, oral, nasal and rectal fluid samples were tested for the presence of ASFV by virus titration (VT) and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Serum was tested for the presence of ASFV-specific antibodies. Both intramuscular inoculation and contact transmission resulted in development of acute disease in all pigs although the experiments indicated that the pathogenesis of the disease might be different, depending on the route of infection. Infectious ASFV was first isolated in blood among the inoculated pigs by day 3, and then chronologically among the direct and indirect contact pigs, by day 10 and 13, respectively. Close to the onset of clinical signs, higher ASFV titres were found in blood compared with nasal and rectal fluid samples among all pigs. No infectious ASFV was isolated in oral fluid samples although ASFV genome copies were detected. Only one animal developed antibodies starting after 12 days post-inoculation. The results provide quantitative data on shedding and excretion of the Georgia 2007/1 ASFV strain among domestic pigs and suggest a limited potential of this isolate to cause persistent infection.
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              Characterization of African Swine Fever Virus Caucasus Isolate in European Wild Boars

              Since 2007, African swine fever has spread from the Caucasus region. To learn more about the dynamics of the disease in wild boars (Sus scrofa), we conducted experiments by using European wild boars. We found high virulence of Caucasus isolates limited potential for establishment of endemicity.

                Author and article information

                Vet Rec
                Vet. Rec
                The Veterinary Record
                BMJ Publishing Group (BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JR )
                28 January 2017
                15 November 2016
                : 180
                : 4
                : 97
                [1 ]Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group, Royal Veterinary College , Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, UK
                [2 ]The Pirbright Institute , Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, UK
                [3 ]VISAVET Center and Animal Health Department, Veterinary School, Complutense University of Madrid , Madrid, Spain
                [4 ]C. Guinat is also at The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, UK
                Author notes
                E-mail for correspondence: cguinat@

                Provenance Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

                British Veterinary Association

                This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

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