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New research suggests that African swine fever can spread through feed

Christian Fernsby |
A new publication in the journal Animals summarizes the potential for African swine fever (ASF) to spread through feed.

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African swine fever is the most significant disease threat to swine globally, and recent introductions into previously negative countries has heightened the risk for disease spread, Megan C. Niederwerder from Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, writes.

Without an effective vaccine or treatment, the primary objective of negative countries is to prevent African swine fever virus infection in pigs.

Significant quantities of feed ingredients used for swine diets are traded worldwide and may be imported from countries with African swine fever.

If feed ingredients are contaminated with the virus, they can serve as potential routes for the introduction and transmission of African swine fever virus.

African swine fever (ASF) is the most significant foreign animal disease threat to U.S. swine production, and the recent introduction of ASF into historically negative countries has heightened the risk for further spread.

Laboratory investigations have characterized the stability of the ASF virus (ASFV) in feed ingredients subjected to transoceanic shipment conditions, ASFV transmissibility through the natural consumption of plant-based feed, and the mitigation potential of certain feed additives to inactivate ASFV in feed.

This review describes the current knowledge of feed as a risk for swine viruses and the opportunities for mitigating the risk to protect U.S. pork production and the global swine population from ASF and other foreign animal diseases.

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