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African Swine Fever and Its Epidemiological Course in Lithuanian Wild Boar

African swine fever (ASF) has been present in Lithuania since 2014. It is mainly the wild boar population that is affected. Currently, little is known about the epidemiological course of ASF in Lithuania. In the present study, ASF surveillance data from 2016–2021 were analyzed. The numbers of samples taken from hunted wild boar and wild boar found dead per year and month were recorded and the prevalence was estimated for each study month and administrative unit. A Bayesian space–time model was used to calculate the temporal trend of the prevalence estimates. In addition, population data were analyzed on a yearly basis. Most samples were investigated in 2016 and 2017 and originated from hunted animals. Prevalence estimates of ASF virus-positive wild boar decreased from May 2019 onwards. Seroprevalence estimates showed a slight decrease at the same time, but they increased again at the end of the study period. A significant decrease in the population density was observed over time. The results of the study show that ASF is still present in the Lithuanian wild boar population. A joint interdisciplinary effort is needed to identify weaknesses in the control of ASF in Lithuania and to combat the disease more successfully.



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