African Swine Fever in Two Large Commercial Pig Farms in LATVIA : Estimation of the High Risk Period and Virus Spread within the Farm
African swine fever (ASF) was first detected in Latvia in wild boar at the Eastern border in June 2014. Since then ASF has continued to spread in wild boar populations covering almost whole territory of the country. Sporadic outbreaks occurred at the same time in domestic pig holdings located in wild boar infected areas. Here we present the results of the epidemiological investigation in two large commercial farms. Several parameters were analyzed to determine the high risk period (HRP) and to investigate the ASF virus spread within the farm. Clinical data, mortality rates and laboratory results proved to be good indicators for estimating the HRP. The measures for early disease detection, particularly the enhanced passive surveillance that is targeting dead and sick pigs, were analyzed and discussed. Enhanced passive surveillance proved to be a key element to detect ASF at an early stage. The study also showed that ASF virus might spread slowly within a large farm depending mainly on direct contacts between pigs and the level of internal biosecurity. Findings suggest improvements in outbreak prevention, control measures and may contribute to a better understanding of ASF spreading patterns within large pig herds. Culling of all pigs in large commercial farms could be reconsidered under certain conditions.