The continued advance of African swine fever (ASF) through Eastern European countries has triggered concern amongst pig farmers and governing bodies. Defra has upgraded the threat to the UK from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ – meaning the risk is “rare but could occur” (EFSA terminology). This severe disease of pigs entered Europe through Georgia in 2007, and has since continued to the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe, including EU countries in the Baltic States, Poland and very recently the Czech Republic, in wild boar.
Scientists at The Pirbright Institute have successfully validated two new portable tests for the diagnosis of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). One test confirms the presence of FMD virus (FMDV), and the other is the first portable test able to differentiate between the four FMD types prevalent in Africa. The commercially available kits developed with Tetracore were taken to Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya to confirm their effectiveness the field.