African Swine Fever is a concern for the pork industry worldwide
As an introduction, this 3-minute video from the European Food Safety Agency recapitulates the clinical signs and risks associated with African Swine Fever.
What do we know about African Swine Fever?
The following presentation by Dr. Chris Oura at the 2018 Allen D. Leman Swine explains what we know about the African Swine Fever virus, what the associated clinical signs are and the various paths of transmission.
In episode 3 of the ASF Conversations by the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, Dr. Jose Manuel Sanchez Vizcaino, Universidad Complutense Madrid, and Dr. Tom Molitor, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, discuss an overview of African swine fever virus including a brief history, distribution, characteristics, and transmission of the disease.
This one-page document from the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring program summarizes what we know regarding the virus transmission and survivability.
What is the progression of African Swine Fever worldwide?
The Center for Animal Health and Food Safety at the University of Minnesota created an interactive map that tracks the progression of the disease in Asia as well as in Europe.
Additionally, the Swine Health Information Center publishes Global Swine Surveillance Reports regarding ASF cases.
African Swine Fever in the field
Pictures of clinical signs and lesions are available in the first report of the 2018 Chinese African Swine Fever outbreak.
In the second episode in the ASF Conversations series created by the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, Dr. Montserrat Torremorell and Dr. Gustavo Lopez of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine discuss the experience of working in the 2014 African swine fever outbreak in Russia.
What are the available diagnostic tests for African Swine Fever?
In the first episode in the ASF Conversations series created by the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, Dr. Jerry Torrison, director of the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and Dr. Stephanie Rossow, veterinary diagnostician in the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, discuss the processes in the diagnostics of African swine fever and the resources available at the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.
For more information, visit the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory website.
What is the best way to prepare my swine farm against African Swine Fever?
The National Pork Board created a checklist available for free, to prepare against Foreign Animal Diseases.
If foot and mouth disease (FMD), classical swine fever (CSF), or African swine fever (ASF) is found in United States livestock, Regulatory Officials will limit the movement of animals and animal products to try and control the spread of these very contagious animal diseases. FMD, CSF, and ASF are not public health or food safety concerns. Meat will still be safe to eat.
The Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Continuity of Business Plan provides opportunities to voluntarily prepare before an outbreak. This will better position pork premises with animals that have no evidence of infection to:
- Move animals to processing or another pork production premises under a movement permit issued by Regulatory Officials, and
- Maintain business continuity for the swine industry, including producers, haulers, and packers during an FMD, CSF, and ASF outbreak.
Visit the Secure Pork Supply website to learn how you can ensure continuity of business in case African Swine Fever spreads to the US.
Is there a vaccine available against African Swine Fever?
No, there is no vaccine against African Swine Fever virus for the following reasons (Source Dr. Chris Oura at the 2018 Allen D. Leman Swine Conference):
- It is a large and complex virus with many proteins.
- The inactivated virus is not protective against infection and clinical signs.
- The virus antigens that have been used for vaccine development have been unsuccessful at protecting against infection and clinical signs.
- Vaccine trails are extremely expensive because they require a specific type of facilities.
- Until recently, the market for this type of vaccine was limited.
- Few research groups are working on this virus.
Is feed a concern for the introduction of African Swine Fever in the United States?
The National Pork Board created a downloadable decision tree to evaluate feed ingredient safety.
Since the introduction of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus in the US in 2013, research has been done to evaluate the risk of feed ingredient imports to the swine industry and more particularly regarding Foreign Animal Diseases. In this publication from Dee et al., a model was used to evaluate if African Swine Fever virus would survive when transported from Eastern Europe to the USA in contaminated feed ingredients. More research is needed to evaluate the risk from South-East Asia.
"As it pertains to the first conclusion, survival clearly differed across viruses. While viable SVA, PSV and ASFV were recovered from most of the ingredients tested, SVA appeared to be the most stable virus in feed. [...] Regarding ASFV, while viable virus was recovered from 9 ingredients at the end of the 30-day period, half-lives were relatively short and literally equal to the stock virus control. As its environmental stability is well documented, our data support the notion that ASFV survives well, even in the absence of a protective feed matrix. However, it should be noted that ASFV was the only virus tested in the Trans-Atlantic model, which was 7 days shorter than the Trans-Pacific Model. The fact that the shorter incubation of ASFV in feed may account for the apparently higher stability of the virus cannot be formally excluded."
-Dee SA, Bauermann FV, Niederwerder MC, Singrey A, Clement T, de Lima M, et al. (2018) Survival of viral pathogens in animal feed ingredients under transboundary shipping models. PLoS ONE 13(3): e0194509. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194509