Development of African swine fever epidemic among wild boar in Estonia - two different areas in the epidemiological focus
African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar emerged in Estonia for the first time in September 2014. The first affected region was located in the South of Estonia close to the border with Latvia. It was considered to be epidemiologically connected to the outbreaks in the North of Latvia. About two weeks later, cases were detected in the North of Estonia, close to the Russian border. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the epidemiological courses of the disease in the South and in the North of Estonia. Potential associations between risk factors and the laboratory test results for ASF were examined. A hierarchical Bayesian space–time model was used to analyze the temporal trend of the ASF seroprevalence in the two areas. Young wild boar were statistically significant more likely to be ASF-positive by both, serology and virus detection, than older animals. A statistically significant difference between the two areas in the temporal course of the seroprevalence was found. While the seroprevalence clearly increased in the South, it remained relatively constant in the North. These findings led to the hypothesis that ASF might have been introduced earlier into the North of Estonia then into the South of the country.