Wednesday, July 11, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> African swine fever - Europe (26): Romania, spread, EFSA scientific opinion

AFRICAN SWINE FEVER - EUROPE (26): ROMANIA, SPREAD, EFSA SCIENTIFIC
OPINION
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Date: Wed 11 Jul 2018
Source: Pig Progress [edited]
<https://www.pigprogress.net/Health/Articles/2018/7/ASF-update-Outbreaks-in-Romania-EU-steps-up-the-fight-308334E/?cmpid=NLC|pigprogress_focus|2018-07-11|>


Until May this year [2018], in Romania the occurrence of African swine
fever (ASF) appeared to be limited to a few cases in Satu Mare county,
close to both the Ukraine and Hungary borders.

Predominantly, the figures shared from Tulcea county, close to the
Black Sea, appear worrisome. In total, 249 [outbreaks] of ASF have
been reported between that date and now. This included mostly backyard
farms, a national park, one slaughterhouse, and one large professional
farm.

The farm in Tulcea province, with 43 800 pigs, was reported infected
on 29 Jun 2018. Of that total, 8 pigs were found to have died of ASF
in late June 2018. To the World Organisation of Animal Health (OIE),
the Romanians reported that "the actions of culling and disposing of
the animals are now in progress."

Total culls of swine in Tulcea county alone now stand at 46 167 pigs
and counting.

Other areas infected include Braila county (neighbouring Tulcea on the
west side), Constanta province (neighbouring Tulcea on the south) and
Bihor county, next to Satu Mare in the country's north. In all 3
counties, only one backyard farm was infected. The one in Bihor county
had 57 porcine victims in total.

Over the last few weeks, the European Union also stepped up its
efforts to control ASF. The European Commission has recently announced
freeing up 10 million Euros [USD 11.7 million] for the development of
a vaccine against ASF. Despite some ground-breaking research by
CReSA-IRTA in Spain, a commercial vaccine is not yet available. The
money will become available in the Horizon 2020 programme.

In addition, the European Food Safety Authority has indicated it will
investigate the pros and cons of fencing to avoid the spread of the
virus. Fencing has been suggested by some countries as a method to
avoid the spreading of the virus across borders by wild boar.

A group of eminent researchers on behalf of the European Food Safety
Authority (EFSA) also recently identified that intensive hunting of
wild boar might provide a solution.

In a scientific opinion, published in the EFSA Journal
[<https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/5344>; see commentary
for the abstract], EFSA experts stated that when wild boar populations
are below a certain threshold, the virus simply cannot spread, as the
virus is kept away from uninfected boars. In an interview with Pig
Progress, Prof Zygmunt Pejsak recently suggested the same.

Despite a sea being between the European mainland and Britain, also in
the UK, the developments with regard to ASF are being followed
closely. The country's Department for Environment, Food and Rural
Affairs (Defra) recently re-launched guidance on how to recognise the
signs of ASF [<https://www.gov.uk/guidance/african-swine-fever>]. It
has been circulating especially well on social media.

ASF been in Europe since 2006, when it was introduced in Georgia. Ever
since, it spread to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and
Moldova. So far, it has been found in 7 EU countries, including
Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and
Romania.

[Byline: Vincent ter Beek]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[1. According to a report published on 11 Jul 2018 by the Polish
web-site vaaju.com, initially 600 pigs in the Romanian pork producing
plant Carniprod were to be culled in order to save the others "if the
symptoms of the disease do not occur during the next 2 weeks." But on
3 Jul 2018, "the Swedish Veterinary and Food Safety Office (ANSVSA)
has announced that all animals must be killed and disposed of."
Veterinary workers were recruited from 10 districts to carry out the
culling operation, and 4 portable combustion plants were used for
disposal. The operation was followed by cleaning and disinfection of
the plant. We have not been able to obtain similar information from
Romanian sources. Source:
<https://vaaju.com/poland/in-romania-45000-were-liquidated-due-to-asf-of-pigs/>.

2. The abstract of the recent 78-page EFSA paper (Ref. 1) follows:

"The European Commission requested EFSA to compare the reliability of
wild boar density estimates across the EU and to provide guidance to
improve data collection methods. Currently, the only EU-wide available
data are hunting data. Their collection methods should be harmonised
to be comparable and to improve predictive models for wild boar
density. These models could be validated by more precise density data,
collected at local level, e.g. by camera trapping. Based on practical
and theoretical considerations, it is currently not possible to
establish wild boar density thresholds that do not allow sustaining
African swine fever (ASF). There are many drivers determining whether
ASF can be sustained or not, including heterogeneous population
structures and human-mediated spread, and there are still unknowns on
the importance of different transmission modes in the epidemiology.
Based on extensive literature reviews and observations from affected
Member States, the efficacy of different wild boar population
reduction and separation methods is being evaluated. Different wild
boar management strategies at different stages of the epidemic are
suggested. Preventive measures to reduce and stabilise wild boar
density, before ASF introduction, will be beneficial both in reducing
the probability of exposure of the population to ASF and for the
efforts needed for potential emergency actions (i.e. less carcass
removal) if an ASF incursion were to occur. Passive surveillance is
the most effective and efficient method of surveillance for early
detection of ASF in free areas. Following focal ASF introduction, the
wild boar populations should be kept undisturbed for a short period
(e.g. hunting ban on all species, leave crops unharvested to provide
food and shelter within the affected area) and drastic reduction of
the wild boar population may be performed only ahead of the ASF
advance front, in the free populations. Following the decline in the
epidemic, as demonstrated through passive surveillance, active
population management should be reconsidered."

References
1. EFSA AHAW Panel (EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare), More S,
Miranda MA, Bicout D, Botner A, Butterworth A, Calistri P, Edwards S
et al. 2018. Scientific Opinion on the African swine fever in wild
boar. EFSA Journal 2018;16(7):5344, 78 pp.
<https://doi.org/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5344>. - Mod.AS

HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
Romania: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/122>]

[See Also:
African swine fever - Europe (25): Romania (BH) domestic swine, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180709.5895588
African swine fever - Europe (24): Romania, domestic, spread, concern
http://promedmail.org/post/20180706.5890974
African swine fever - Europe (23): Ukraine, domestic swine, wild boar,
OIE http://promedmail.org/post/20180706.5890094
African swine fever - Europe (22): Romania (CT) domestic swine, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180705.5890073
African swine fever - Europe (21): Romania (BR) domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180704.5888639
African swine fever - Europe (20): Romania (TL) domestic swine, spread
http://promedmail.org/post/20180704.5887708
African swine fever - Europe (19): Latvia (SD) domestic
http://promedmail.org/post/20180620.5865002
African swine fever - Europe (18): Romania, domestic swine, wild boar,
OIE http://promedmail.org/post/20180614.5857000
African swine fever - Europe (17): Russia (KN) domestic swine, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180614.5853924
African swine fever - Europe (16): Moldova (AN) domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180612.5852549
African swine fever - Europe (15): Ukraine, domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180606.5841307
African swine fever - Europe (14): Hungary (SZ) wild boar, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180522.5810185
African swine fever - Europe (13): Moldova (TA), domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180519.5805964
African swine fever - Europe (12): Moldova (GA), domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180512.5794703
African swine fever - Europe (11): Ukraine, domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180505.5786129
African swine fever - Europe (10): Moldova, domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180428.5771344
African swine fever - Europe (09): Hungary, wild boar, 1st rep, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180424.5765306
African swine fever - Europe (08): Ukraine, wild boar, domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180402.5724317
African swine fever - Europe (07): Poland, wild boar, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180323.5704653
African swine fever - Europe (06): Poland, wild boar, spread
http://promedmail.org/post/20180303.5662244
African swine fever - Europe (05): Moldova, domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180302.5662137
African swine fever - Europe (04): Ukraine, wild boar, domestic, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180227.5652766
African swine fever - Europe (03): Ukraine, wild boar, domestic swine,
OIE http://promedmail.org/post/20180129.5592319
African swine fever - Europe (02): Romania domestic, Latvia wild boar,
OIE http://promedmail.org/post/20180112.5555485
African swine fever - Europe: Czech Republic, wild boar, spread, alert
http://promedmail.org/post/20180108.5545415
2017
----
African swine fever - Europe (21): Czech Rep, Romania, Poland, wild
boar, spread http://promedmail.org/post/20170902.5291023
African swine fever - Europe (17): Romania (SM) domestic, 1st rep, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20170801.5218650]
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