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Survival of African swine fever virus in feed, bedding materials and mechanical vectors and their potential role in virus transmission


Funding programme / funding institution: Europäische Behörde für Lebensmittelsicherheit (EFSA) - Italien

Grant number: GP/EFSA/LPHA/2021/09

Project homepage: -

Project description:

In recent years, African swine fever (ASF) has become a pandemic and within the European Union, affected wild boar populations are the main drivers of the epidemic. This situation presents new challenges, such as the need for a risk assessment for agricultural products harvested in affected regions that are at risk of exposure to carcasses or body fluids from affected animals. Direct contact with susceptible pigs (feeding or use as employment material) or movement of contaminated matrices into free regions with potential contact with domestic or wild suidae may pose a risk. When contacting susceptible suidae, infection biology must be considered. Despite the fact that the oral or oronasal route of transmission is much less effective than the parenteral route, studies have provided evidence that small amounts of virus can be sufficient to infect susceptible pigs, especially if exposure is repeated. Therefore, any potential contamination with infectious virus may be critical, especially considering the rather high persistence of ASFV.

In connection with outbreaks and the spread of ASF virus in the environment, animal feed has been and continues to be brought into play as a possible vector. However, the data situation is not good. This "lack of data" has already been identified by EFSA and BfR. Within the framework of the research project, some of these data gaps are now to be filled.

Project partners:

  • Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Bundesforschungsinstitut für Tiergesundheit (FLI) Greifswald - Deutschland
  • Swedish National Veterinary Institute (SVA) Uppsala - Schweden




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