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A Review of Environmental Risk Factors for African Swine Fever in European Wild Boar

A detailed understanding of environmental risk factors for African swine fever (ASF) in wild boar will be not only essential for risk assessments but also for timely and spatially informed allocation of resources in order to manage wild boar-targeted ASF control measures efficiently. Here, we review currently known environmental risk factors that can influence the occurrence of ASF virus infection in wild boar when compared to disease occurrence in wild boar of a non-exposed reference scenario. Accordingly, the exposure of wild boar to environmental risk factors related to (1) climate, (2) land cover, (3) human activity, (4) wild boar and (5) ASF were evaluated. As key environmental risk factors in this review, increased ASF occurrence in wild boar was associated with seasonal patterns, forest coverage, presence of water, human presence, farming activities, wild boar density and ASF nearness. The review highlights inconsistencies in some of these risk factor associations with disease detection in space and time and may provide valuable insights for the investigation of ASF transmission dynamics. The examined risk information was applied to consider potential improvements of the ASF control strategy in wild boar regarding disease surveillance, hunting, wild boar carcass searches and ASF barrier implementation.


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