Open Access

A Review of African Swine Fever – Disease that is Now a Big Concern in Europe


African swine fever (ASF) is a serious disease of domestic and feral swine mainly because of grave clinical course of the disease and its strong socio-economic impact. Not only there is an extremely high mortality (95–100%) around the time of the first outbreak, live-animal, pork meat and other pork product trade is strongly affected on regional and international level. ASF is a species-specific disease; strength of the clinical signs depends on virulence of a viral strain. Exacerbation of body temperature and dysfunction of respiratory system and gastrointestinal tract are most common occurrences. Lesions can be mostly classed as congestive or hemorrhagic. Epidemiologically, ASF varies substantially among regions, countries and continents due to wide panel of different virus genotypes, population of feral swine and other reservoirs of disease, geographical characteristics and social habits of people. ASF is endemic in Sub-Saharan Africa where soft ticks (Argaside) and chronically infected feral swine population serve as reservoirs. It also became endemic in most parts of Russian Federation. Since 1978, ASF is endemic on Sardinia isle, as it was eradicated in all other parts of Europe. First outbreak in Georgia in 2007 has apparently served for transmission to other eastern European countries. Slovenia is currently still ASF-free but disease has already reached some relatively nearby countries (Poland, Romania, Moldova, Czech Republic and Hungary). There is no anti-ASF vaccine currently available ad specific treatment has not been described. Therefore rapid diagnostics and implementation of strict biosecurity measures play a key role in prevention of further transmission.