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Institute of Diagnostic Virology (IVD)

National Reference Laboratory for African Swine Fever (ASF)

Information of the FLI on the current ASF situation

African swine fever

African Swine Fever (ASF) is one of the most important and complex diseases affecting pigs. Due to its socio-economic impact, the disease is notifiable to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). It is caused by a large DNA virus belonging to the family Asfarviridae, genus Asfivirus.

Vertebrate hosts are only pigs (domesticated and wild), but the transmission cycle can involve soft ticks of the genus Ornithodorus, in which the virus can replicate. Thus, African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the only known virus with a DNA genome that can be classified as arthropod-born virus (ARBO virus). The clinical picture of ASF is most variable. It can produce a wide range of syndromes varying from peracute death or haemorrhagic syndromes to chronic disease and more ore less unapparent carriers. The latter are of great epidemiological importance and may maintain the disease in the affected population.