Mousumi Bora

and 7 more

Africa Swine Fever (ASF) is one of the most important transboundary diseases of pigs. ASF has been identified in India for the first time in domestic pigs from outbreaks reported in two of the North-Eastern states, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam in 2020. A total of 11 ASF outbreaks in different regions killed over 3700 pigs and devastated the economy of small-scale livestock owners of both the states. Considering the first outbreak of ASF in India, a generic risk assessment framework was determined to identify potential risk factors that might favour future emergence of the disease. Based on Indian scenario, we considered population density of host, farming practice, availability of biological vectors and wildlife reservoirs, epidemiological cycles and international trade to analyze the possibility of future outbreaks and chances of establishment of endemism. On critical analysis of the identified risk factors, we observed that the risk factors are well preserved in Indian geography and might participate in future outbreaks further disseminating the disease to nearby countries. Since no vaccine is currently available against ASF, the domestic and the wild-pigs (wild boars and the endangered pygmy hogs native to India) of this region are under constant threat of infection. For the near future this region will have to continue to rely on the implementation of preventive measures to avoid the devastating losses that outbreaks can cause. The various adaptive control strategies to minimize the risks associated with the transmission of ASF keeping our views to Indian settings have been described. The risk-analysis framework presented in the study will give a further understanding of the dynamics of disease transmission and will help to design control strategies and corresponding measures to minimize the catastrophic consequences of ASF disease.