Control of African swine fever epidemics in industrialized swine populations

Tariq Hisham Beshara Halasa, Anette Bøtner, Sten Mortensen, Hanne Christensen, Nils Toft, Anette Boklund

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    African swine fever (ASF) is a notifiable infectious disease with a high impact on swine health. The disease is endemic in certain regions in the Baltic countries and has spread to Poland constituting a risk of ASF spread toward Western Europe. Therefore, as part of contingency planning, it is important to explore strategies that can effectively control an epidemic of ASF. In this study, the epidemiological and economic effects of strategies to control the spread of ASF between domestic swine herds were examined using a published model (DTU-DADS-ASF). The control strategies were the basic EU and national strategy (Basic), the basic strategy plus pre-emptive depopulation of neighboring swine herds, and intensive surveillance of herds in the control zones, including testing live or dead animals. Virus spread via wild boar was not modelled.

    Under the basic control strategy, the median epidemic duration was predicted to be 21 days (5th and 95th percentiles; 1-55 days), the median number of infected herds was predicted to be 3 herds (1–8), and the total costs were predicted to be €326 million (€256–€442 million). Adding pre-emptive depopulation or intensive surveillance by testing live animals resulted in marginal improvements to the control of the epidemics. However, adding testing of dead animals in the protection and surveillance zones was predicted to be the optimal control scenario for an ASF epidemic in industrialized swine populations without contact to wild boar. This optimal scenario reduced the epidemic duration to 9 days (1–38) and the total costs to €294 million (€257–€392 million). Export losses were the driving force of the total costs of the epidemics.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalVeterinary Microbiology
    Pages (from-to)142-150
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • African swine fever
    • Simulation model
    • Spread
    • Control

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