African Swine FeverA re-emerging viral disease threatening the pig industry

Dr Mangsatabam Norjit Singh
Contd from prev issue
Developing a universal vaccine has been challenging due to the limited cross-protection between different strains of the virus. Currently, 24 genotypes of ASF virus associated with distinct geographies in Africa have been identified based on the sequencing of the major capsid protein p72. Many laboratories around the world are working to develop a vaccine, with some promising results, but more work is required to ensure the safety and efficacy of these prototype vaccines before registration.
Prevention and control measures:
The most adequate preventive measure has to be by checking and stopping the spread of the virus. The demographic location of the vectors such as ticks and flies should be taken into account while mapping control measures.
· Maintain strict biosecurity measures: It is possible to prevent the spread of the virus by implementing strict biosecurity measures since without human assistance ASF virus cannot be transmitted over long distances.
· Do not allow the infected pigs and bedding material to leave the area of the farm premises where outbreak has been confirmed.
· Allow only essential visitors to enter your farm: Ensuring the farm workers and other essential visitors such as veterinarians are disinfected properly before entering the farm premises and should wear protective clothing and other PPE gears and wash their hands (or shower in if possible).
· Allow only vehicles and equipment into the farm if they have been cleaned and disinfected beforehand. Limiting the access for people and vehicles in and around the farm premises and in areas where pigs are reared can be of great help in containing the spread of the disease.
· Do not allow the people to enter the farm who may have been in contact with other pigs.
· Feeding of leftovers should be strictly avoided, no human food should be allowed into the pig facility and bio-security guidelines to be adhered strictly.
· No import of live animals, meat and meat products from regions where African swine fever occurs.
· Do not allow the staffs and visitors to bring pork products into the farm
· Do not allow catering waste / scraps to be fed to pigs - dispose of it safely.
· Prevent contact between the domestic and wild pigs.
· Disinfectant foot baths for visitors and working personnel should be installed.
· Early detection and humane killing of the pig population with proper disposal of carcasses with surveillance and detailed epidemiological investigation are deemed to be ensured.

The writer is Assistant Professor at Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal.
For further details contact: - Public Relations & Media Management Cell, CAU, Imphal. Email: [email protected]