Research Shows Rodents Present Negligible Risk for ASF Transmission

May 24, 2021

Research conducted on behalf of the Swine Health Information Center indicates rodents present a low risk for African Swine Fever transmission. As part of an African Swine Fever research project in Vietnam, South Dakota State University in collaboration with Vietnam National University of Agriculture looked at the role of rodents in spreading African Swine Fever.

Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says scientists spent about a month trapping rats and mice on farms across Vietnam which were then tested for ASF.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:

What they found was they couldn't find any. That was something we that really didn't expect. I expected that there would be ASF at least on the fur or feet of these rats and all of the results were negative for those actual trapped rats.

With that information they went back to the laboratory and they purposely tried to infect and tried to contaminate rats with ASF. They put other rats in contact with them to see if they could transmit ASF either mechanically or biologically from one rate to another. They weren't able to find anything in transmission there either.

That's all good news. That adds to the body of knowledge about the transmission of ASF. I don't know that you can say "this then says that rodents absolutely can't be a transmission factor but it certainly decreases the priority of rodents and mice as a transmission factor for ASF.

They can transmit a lot of other things as well and so part of good biosecurity is always addressing rodents and the prevention of a rodent infestation but, as far as ASF goes, it looks like rodents can be put fairly far down the list of priorities to pay attention to with African Swine Fever

Source : Farmscape
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