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Variations in clinical presentation and anatomical distribution of gross lesions of African swine fever in domestic pigs in the southern highlands of Tanzania: a field experience

Kipanyula, Maulilio John, Nong’ona, Solomon Wilson
Tropical animal health and production 2017 v.49 no.2 pp. 303-310
African swine fever, anorexia, diarrhea, discoloration, fever, hemorrhage, highlands, kidneys, liver, longitudinal studies, lymph nodes, mortality, necropsy, nose, piglets, questionnaires, slabs, slaughter, sows, spleen, suckling, veterinarians, Tanzania
African swine fever is a contagious viral disease responsible for up to 100% mortality among domestic pigs. A longitudinal study was carried out to determine the clinical presentation and anatomical distribution of gross lesions in affected pigs in Mbeya region, Tanzania during the 2010 to 2014 outbreaks. Data were collected during clinical and postmortem examination by field veterinarians and using a structured questionnaire. A total of 118 respondents (100%) showed awareness about African swine fever. During previous outbreaks, the mortality rate was almost 100%, while in 2014 it was estimated to be less than 50%.The clinical picture of the 2010–2012 outbreaks was characterized by high fever, depression, inappetance, mucosal congestion, hemorrhages, erythematous lesions in different body parts, and abortion. Several internal organs including the kidneys, spleen, and liver were congested and edematous. During the 2014 outbreak, a number of pigs (49.7%) were asymptomatic when brought to slaughter slabs but were found to have African swine fever gross lesions at postmortem examination as compared to 12.3% in 2010–2012. Bluish discoloration, which is normally distributed on the non-hairy parts of the body, was not apparent in some pigs except at postmortem examination. Some pigs (36.1%) presented nasal and/or oral bloody discharges which were uncommon (9.1%) during previous outbreaks. Moreover, other gross features included enlarged dark red renal lymph nodes and spleen. Clinical signs such as anorexia, diarrhea, and pyrexia were mainly observed when affected pigs reached moribund stage. The majority of pregnant sows died without presenting abortions. In some litters, suckling piglets (3–6 weeks) survived from the disease. These findings indicated that in 2014, African swine fever outbreak in Mbeya region was characterized by a different clinical picture.