To sample or not to sample? Detection of African swine fever in wild boar killed in road traffic accidents

Schulz, Katja GND; Conraths, Franz Josef GND; Staubach, Christoph GND; Viltrop, Arvo; Oļševskis, Edvīns; Nurmoja, Imbi; Lamberga, Kristīne; Sauter-Louis, Carola GND

African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar remains a threat for the global pig industry. Therefore, surveillance is of utmost importance; not only to control the disease, but also to detect new introductions as early as possible. Passive surveillance is regarded as the method of choice for an effective detection of ASF in wild boar populations. However, the relevance of wild boar killed through road traffic accidents (RTA) for passive surveillance seems to be unclear. Using comprehensive ASF wild boar surveillance data from Estonia and Latvia, the prevalence of ASF‐infected wild boar was calculated and the probability of infection as measured by PCR compared for animals that were hunted, found dead, shot sick or killed in a RTA. The number of samples originating from wild boar killed in a RTA was low and so was the ASF prevalence in these animals. However, the reasons for this low number of RTA animals remain unknown. Therefore, we recommend to sample wild boar killed in a RTA to a greater extent; also to explore, if this approach can increase the detection probability, and to avoid missing disease introduction.

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Schulz, Katja / Conraths, Franz / Staubach, Christoph / et al: To sample or not to sample? Detection of African swine fever in wild boar killed in road traffic accidents. 2020.

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