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African Swine Fever

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African swine fever research
Microbiologist Zhiqiang Lu uses a DNA sequencer to examine genetically engineered African swine fever viruses - Photo by Keith Weller; USDA, Agricultural Research Service
Scientific Name: 
African swine fever virus (Alonso et al. 2018)
Common Name: 
African swine fever
Native To: 
First identified in Kenya in 1921 (Sánchez‐Vizcaíno et al. 2012)
Date of U.S. Introduction: 
Has not been detected in the U.S. (Brown and Bevin 2018)
Means of Introduction: 
Most likely pathway into the U.S. is the illegal importation of swine products or byproducts (APHIS)
Impact: 
Highly contagious and fatal viral disease affecting domestic and wild pigs; one of the most economically devastating diseases of swine (APHIS; Sánchez‐Vizcaíno et al. 2012)

Spotlights

USDA. ARS. Tellus.

ARS scientists at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Orient Point, NY, have made two important advancements against African swine fever virus, which causes a lethal disease in pigs.

USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus. "We have identified a cell-line that can be used to isolate and detect the presence of the live virus," said ARS Scientist Dr. Douglas Gladue. "This is a critical breakthrough and a tremendous step for African Swine Fever Virus diagnostics."

This research, which is highlighted in this month's issue of Viruses, was funded through an interagency agreement with the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A provisional patent application for this research was filed in April 2020 and the technology is now available for license. ARS scientists at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Plum Island, N.Y. will continue to perform research and work towards finding tools to control the spread of ASFV in the nation.

USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Feral swine can carry foreign animal diseases like African Swine Fever. While ASF has never been found in domestic or feral swine in the United States, there is no treatment or vaccine for it. That’s why surveillance is very important. Help protect U.S. pigs by immediately reporting sick or dead feral swine.

WHAT TO DO: If you find a sick or dead feral swine with no obvious injury or cause of death, report it right away. Call the USDA-APHIS Wildlife Services program in your State at 1-866-4-USDA-WS. Don’t wait! Quick detection is essential to preventing the spread of ASF.

World Organisation for Animal Health; UN. Food and Agriculture Organization.

The escalation of the spread of African swine fever (ASF) has placed most of the world's domestic and wild pig populations under direct threat. To support countries' efforts to protect economies and food security, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have launched a joint initiative for the Global Control of ASF (PDF | 5.7 MB).

United States Department of Agriculture.
Today, since prevention is our best protection against African swine fever, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue is sharing information about the importance of keeping ASF out of the United States. It is vital for everyone to know about ASF and how to prevent it, while keeping the U.S. pig population healthy. To help people learn more about this disease, as well as the steps that can be taken to help protect U.S. pigs, the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has updated its web content with additional information and links to partners’ resources.

Additionally, USDA is releasing four infographics on the following topics:

Federally Regulated

Images

Iowa State University. Center for Food Security and Public Health.

Videos

Google. YouTube; United States Department of Agriculture.
Google. YouTube; United States Department of Agriculture.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for African Swine Fever.

Partnership

World Organisation for Animal Health.

UNFAO. Animal Production and Health Division.
Federal Government
USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
DHS. Customs and Border Protection.
International Government
United Kingdom Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
European Food Safety Authority.

New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries.

Australian Government. Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

State and Local Government
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.
North Dakota Department of Agriculture.
Delaware Department of Agriculture.
Academic
Pennsylvania State University. Cooperative Extension.

Iowa State University. Center for Food Security and Public Health.

University of Florida. Emerging Pathogens Institute.

University of Minnesota. College of Veterinary Medicine.
Professional

Citations