Experimental Infections of Pigs with African Swine Fever Virus (Genotype II); Studies in Young Animals and Pregnant Sows

Louise Lohse, Jens Nielsen, Åse Uttenthal, Ann Sofie Olesen, Bertel Strandbygaard, Thomas Bruun Rasmussen, Graham J. Belsham, Anette Bøtner*

*Corresponding author for this work

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African swine fever is an important viral disease of wild and domestic pigs. To gain further knowledge of the properties of the currently circulating African swine fever virus (ASFV), experimental infections of young pigs (approximately 8 weeks of age) and pregnant sows (infected at about 100 days of gestation) with the genotype II ASFV Georgia/2007 were performed. The inoculated young pigs developed typical clinical signs of the disease and the infection was transmitted (usually within 3–4 days) to all of the “in contact” animals that shared the same pen. Furthermore, typical pathogical lesions for ASFV infection were found at necropsy. Inoculation of pregnant sows with the same virus also produced rapid onset of disease from post-infection day three; two of the three sows died suddenly on post-infection day five, while the third was euthanized on the same day for animal welfare reasons. Following necropsy, the presence of ASFV DNA was detected in tonsils, spleen and lymph nodes of some of the fetuses, but the levels of viral DNA were much lower than in these tissues from the sows. Thus, only limited transplacental transmission occurred during the course of this experiment. These studies contribute towards further understanding about the spread of this important viral disease in domestic pigs.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1387
Issue number7
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • African swine fever
  • Domestic pig
  • Experimental infection
  • Virus transmission


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