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Effectiveness and practicality of control strategies for African swine fever: what do we really know?
  1. C. Guinat, DVM, MSc, PhD1,
  2. T. Vergne, DVM, MSc, PhD, DipECVPH1,
  3. C. Jurado-Diaz, DVM3,
  4. J. M. Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Full Professor of Animal Health, Dhc, PhD and DVM, 3,
  5. L. Dixon, BSc, PhD2 and
  6. D. U. Pfeiffer, Tierarzt, DrMedVet, PhD, MANZCVSc, DipECVPH1
  1. 1Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, UK
  2. 2The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, UK
  3. 3VISAVET Center and Animal Health Department, Veterinary School, Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  4. 4C. Guinat is also at The Pirbright Institute, Ash Road, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0NF, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: cguinat{at}


African swine fever (ASF) is a major pig health problem, and the causative virus is moving closer to Western European regions where pig density is high. Stopping or slowing down the spread of ASF requires mitigation strategies that are both effective and practical. Based on the elicitation of ASF expert opinion, this study identified surveillance and intervention strategies for ASF that are perceived as the most effective by providing the best combination between effectiveness and practicality. Among the 20 surveillance strategies that were identified, passive surveillance of wild boar and syndromic surveillance of pig mortality were considered to be the most effective surveillance strategies for controlling ASF virus spread. Among the 22 intervention strategies that were identified, culling of all infected herds and movement bans for neighbouring herds were regarded as the most effective intervention strategies. Active surveillance and carcase removal in wild boar populations were rated as the most effective surveillance and intervention strategies, but were also considered to be the least practical, suggesting that more research is needed to develop more effective methods for controlling ASF in wild boar populations.

  • African swine fever
  • control strategies
  • expert elicitation
  • Best-worst scaling

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  • Provenance Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Funding The research leading to these results has received funding from the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement no. 311931 (ASFORCE). The Pirbright Institute receives grant aided support from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council of the United Kingdom (grant number BBS/E/I/00001714).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Scientific and ethical clearance to conduct this study was obtained from the RVC Ethics and Welfare Committee, reference number URN 2015 1388.

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