Towards Efficient Early Warning: Pathobiology of African Swine Fever Virus “Belgium 2018/1” in Domestic Pigs of Different Age Classes
African swine fever (ASF) is one of the most important and devastating viral diseases in wild boar and domestic pigs worldwide. In the absence of vaccines or treatment options, early clinical detection is crucial and requires a sound knowledge of disease characteristics. To provide practitioners and state veterinarians with detailed information, the objective of the present study was to characterize the ASF virus (ASFV) isolate “Belgium 2018/1” in subadult and weaning domestic pigs. To this end, two animal trials were performed. Trial A included eight subadult domestic pigs and trial B five weaner pigs. In general, clinical signs and pathological lesions were in line with previous studies utilizing highly virulent ASF genotype II viruses. However, in trial A, four subadult domestic pigs survived and recovered, pointing to an age-dependent outcome. The long-term fate of these survivors remains under discussion and would need further investigation.