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Identification of Risk Factors for African Swine Fever: A Systematic Review

African swine fever (ASF) is an internationally-spreading viral pig disease that severely damages agricultural pork production and trade economy as well as social welfare in disease-affected regions. A comprehensive understanding of ASF risk factors is imperative for efficient disease control. As the absence of effective ASF vaccines limits disease management options, the identification and minimisation of ASF-associated risk factors is critical to preventing ASF outbreaks. Here, we compile currently known potential ASF risk factors identified through a systematic literature review. We found 154 observation-based and 1239 potential ASF risk factors, which we were able to group into the following defined risk categories: ‘ASF-virus’, ‘Biosecurity’, ‘Disease control’, ‘Environment’, ‘Husbandry’, ‘Movement’, ‘Network’, ‘Pig’, ‘Society’ and ‘Surveillance’. Throughout the epidemiological history of ASF there have been similar risk categories, such as ‘Environment’-related risk factors, predominantly reported in the literature irrespective of the ASF situation at the time. While ASF risk factor reporting has markedly increased since 2010, the majority of identified risk factors overall have referred to domestic pigs. The reporting of risk factors for ASF in wild boar mostly commenced from 2016 onwards. The compendium of ASF risk factors presented herein defines our current knowledge of ASF risk factors, and critically informs ASF-related problem solving.



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