African swine fever virus: current situation and prospects for control

African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes a haemorrhagic fever in domestic pigs which results in high mortality and has a severe socio-economic impact in affected countries. The disease is endemic in many sub-Saharan countries in Africa and the virus is maintained in an ancient sylvatic cycle in Eastern and Southern Africa. The few trans-continental transmissions of ASFV that have occurred have proven difficult and costly to eradicate. Following the introduction of ASFV into Georgia in the Trans-Caucasus region in 2007, the disease spread to neighbouring countries including the Russian Federation. The risk of further global spread has increased and threatens pig farming worldwide. The stability of the virus in meat products, the presence of wildlife reservoirs and the lack of a vaccine contribute to difficulties in control.

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