Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Evaluating and controlling the risk of African swine fever in the EU

African swine fever (ASF) in EU member states is currently confined to Italy (Sardinia). It was recently introduced to Caucasian regions and is highly prevalent in sub-Saharan African countries. In both the EC and Africa changes in the epidemiology of the disease have recently been observed, related to newly emerging strains of ASFV, emphasising the serious threat this disease represents to the growing pig farming sector in Africa and Europe.

ASF was recorded for the first time in Ghana in September 1999. The outbreaks occurred in Greater Accra Region and parts of the Volta Region.
This project will provide new tools and strategies to reduce the risk of importation and/or spread of the disease in EU member states. The project will develop and validate a generic risk assessment for the introduction of ASF into EU countries and subsequent control strategies. The project will also develop and validate new antibody and nucleic acid-based diagnostic tools for ASF, including front-line and pen-side tests, which will be supplied to diagnostic facilities in Africa and the Animal Health Laboratories in the EU for the early detection of potential ASFV incursions, in particular by the newly emerging strains.

The new strategies and the tools developed within this project will be transferred to African partners, and other interested countries, and established in these countries through local training/workshops and technology transfer.

This EC-funded project was initiated on January 2008 for 3 years. The EU consortium examines the epidemiology (risk factors), pathogenesis, host viral interactions, vaccine development and novel diagnostic procedures. A total of ten institutes across EU-member states actively participate in this research project, focusing on the development and validation of sensitive diagnostic techniques, including pen-side test.

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