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- PublicationResearch gap analysis on African swine fever(Wiley, 2019-08-27)
; ; ; ; ; ;The most significant knowledge gaps in the prevention and control of African swine fever (ASF) were identified by the EU Veterinary services and other stakeholders involved in pig production and wild boar management through an online survey. The respondents were asked to identify the major research needs in order to improve short‐term ASF risk management. Four major gaps were identified: ‘wild boar’, ‘African swine fever virus (ASFV) survival and transmission’, ‘biosecurity’ and ‘surveillance’. In particular, the respondents stressed the need for better knowledge on wild boar management and surveillance, and improved knowledge on the possible mechanism for spread and persistence of ASF in wild boar populations. They indicated the need for research on ASFV survival and transmission from the environment, different products such as feed and feed materials, and potential arthropod vector transmission. In addition, several research topics on biosecurity were identified as significant knowledge gaps and the need to identify risk factors for ASFV entry into domestic pig holdings, to develop protocols to implement specific and appropriate biosecurity measures, and to improve the knowledge about the domestic pig–wild boar interface. Potential sources of ASFV introduction into unaffected countries need to be better understood by an in‐depth analysis of the possible pathways of introduction of ASFV with the focus on food, feed, transport of live wild boars and human movements. Finally, research on communication methods to increase awareness among all players involved in the epidemiology of ASF (including truck drivers, hunters and tourists) and to increase compliance with existing control measures was also a topic mentioned by all stakeholders. 255Scopus© Citations 23
- PublicationRisk assessment of African swine fever in the south‐eastern countries of Europe(Wiley, 2019-11-05)
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;The European Commission requested EFSA to estimate the risk of spread of African swine fever (ASF) and to identify potential risk factors (indicators) for the spread of ASF, given introduction in the south‐eastern countries of Europe (region of concern, ROC), namely Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Slovenia. Three EU Member States (MS) – Croatia, Greece and Slovenia – were included in the ROC due to their geographical location and ASF‐free status. Based on collected information on potential risk factors (indicators) for each country and the relevant EU regulations in force, the estimated probability of spread of ASF within the ROC within one year after introduction into the ROC was assessed to be very high (from 66% to 100%). This estimate was determined after considering the high number of indicators present in most of the countries in the ROC and the known effect that these indicators can have on ASF spread, especially those related to the structure of the domestic pig sector, the presence of wild boar and social factors. The presence of indicators varies between countries in the ROC. Each country is at risk of ASF spread following introduction; however, some countries may have a higher probability of ASF spread following introduction. In addition, the probability of ASF spread from the ROC to EU MSs outside the ROC within one year after introduction of ASF in the ROC was estimated to be very low to low (from 0% to 15%). This estimate was based on the comparison of the indicators present in the ROC and the already affected countries in south‐eastern Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania, where there was no evidence of ASF spread to other EU MS within one year. 118Scopus© Citations 25
- PublicationAfrican swine fever and outdoor farming of pigsThis opinion describes outdoor farming of pigs in the EU, assesses the risk of African swine fewer (ASF) introduction and spread associated with outdoor pig farms and proposes biosecurity and control measures for outdoor pig farms in ASF-affected areas of the EU. Evidence was collected from Member States (MSs) veterinary authorities, farmers’ associations, literature and legislative documents. An Expert knowledge elicitation (EKE) was carried out to group outdoor pig farms according to their risk of introduction and spread of ASF, to rank biosecurity measures regarding their effectiveness with regard to ASF and propose improvements of biosecurity for outdoor pig farming and accompanying control measures. Outdoor pig farming is common and various farm types are present throughout the EU. As there is no legislation at European level for categorising outdoor pig farms in the EU, information is limited, not harmonised and needs to be interpreted with care. The baseline risk of outdoor pig farms for ASFV introduction and its spread is high but with considerable uncertainty. The Panel is 66–90% certain that, if single solid or double fences were fully and properly implemented on all outdoor pig farms in areas of the EU where ASF is present in wild boar and in domestic pigs in indoor farms and outdoor farms (worst case scenario not considering different restriction zones or particular situations), without requiring any other outdoor-specific biosecurity measures or control measures, this would reduce the number of new ASF outbreaks occurring in these farms within a year by more than 50% compared to the baseline risk. The Panel concludes that the regular implementation of independent and objective on-farm biosecurity assessments using comprehensive standard protocols and approving outdoor pig farms on the basis of their biosecurity risk in an official system managed by competent authorities will further reduce the risk of ASF introduction and spread related to outdoor pig farms.
- PublicationASF Exit Strategy: Providing cumulative evidence of the absence of African swine fever virus circulation in wild boar populations using standard surveillance measures(Wiley, 2021-03)
; ; ; ; ;EFSA assessed the role of seropositive wild boar in African swine fever (ASF) persistence. Surveillance data from Estonia and Latvia investigated with a generalised equation method demonstrated a significantly slower decline in seroprevalence in adult animals compared with subadults. The seroprevalence in adults, taking more than 24 months to approach zero after the last detection of ASFV circulation, would be a poor indicator to demonstrate the absence of virus circulation. A narrative literature review updated the knowledge on the mortality rate, the duration of protective immunity and maternal antibodies and transmission parameters. In addition, parameters potentially leading to prolonged virus circulation (persistence) in wild boar populations were reviewed. A stochastic explicit model was used to evaluate the dynamics of virus prevalence, seroprevalence and the number of carcasses attributed to ASF. Secondly, the impact of four scenarios on the duration of ASF virus (ASFV) persistence was evaluated with the model, namely a: (1) prolonged, lifelong infectious period, (2) reduction in the case‐fatality rate and prolonged transient infectiousness; (3) change in duration of protective immunity and (4) change in the duration of protection from maternal antibodies. Only the lifelong infectious period scenario had an important prolonging effect on the persistence of ASF. Finally, the model tested the performance of different proposed surveillance strategies to provide evidence of the absence of virus circulation (Exit Strategy). A two‐phase approach (Screening Phase, Confirmation Phase) was suggested for the Exit Strategy. The accuracy of the Exit Strategy increases with increasing numbers of carcasses collected and tested. The inclusion of active surveillance based on hunting has limited impact on the performance of the Exit Strategy compared with lengthening of the monitoring period. This performance improvement should be reasonably balanced against an unnecessary prolonged ‘time free’ with only a marginal gain in performance. Recommendations are provided for minimum monitoring periods leading to minimal failure rates of the Exit Strategy. The proposed Exit Strategy would fail with the presence of lifelong infectious wild boar. That said, it should be emphasised that the existence of such animals is speculative, based on current knowledge. 76Scopus© Citations 17