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African Swine Fever in Wild Boar in Europe—A Review

The introduction of genotype II African swine fever (ASF) virus, presumably from Africa into Georgia in 2007, and its continuous spread through Europe and Asia as a panzootic disease of suids, continues to have a huge socio-economic impact. ASF is characterized by hemorrhagic fever leading to a high case/fatality ratio in pigs. In Europe, wild boar are especially affected. This review summarizes the currently available knowledge on ASF in wild boar in Europe. The current ASF panzootic is characterized by self-sustaining cycles of infection in the wild boar population. Spill-over and spill-back events occur from wild boar to domestic pigs and vice versa. The social structure of wild boar populations and the spatial behavior of the animals, a variety of ASF virus (ASFV) transmission mechanisms and persistence in the environment complicate the modeling of the disease. Control measures focus on the detection and removal of wild boar carcasses, in which ASFV can remain infectious for months. Further measures include the reduction in wild boar density and the limitation of wild boar movements through fences. Using these measures, the Czech Republic and Belgium succeeded in eliminating ASF in their territories, while the disease spread in others. So far, no vaccine is available to protect wild boar or domestic pigs reliably against ASF.


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