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Pathogenesis of African swine fever in domestic pigs and European wild boar - lessons learned from recent animal trials

Pikalo, Jutta, Zani, Laura, Hühr, Jane, Beer, Martin, Blome, Sandra
Virus research 2019
African swine fever, European Union, breeding sites, death, fever, genotype, host-pathogen relationships, pandemic, pathogenesis, swine, vaccines, virulence, viruses, wild boars, Asia, Central European region, Sub-Saharan Africa
Over the last decade, African swine fever (ASF) has changed from an exotic disease of Sub-Saharan Africa to a considerable and serious threat to pig industry in Central Europe and Asia. With the introduction of genotype II strains into the European Union in 2014, the disease has apparently found a fertile breeding ground in the abundant wild boar population. Upon infection with highly virulent ASF virus (ASFV), a haemorrhagic fever like illness with high lethality is seen in naïve domestic pigs and wild boar. Despite intensive research, virulence factors, host-virus interactions and pathogenesis are still far from being understood, and neither vaccines nor treatment exist. However, to better understand the disease, and to work towards a safe and efficacious vaccine, this information is needed. The presented review targets the knowledge gained over the last five years with regard to ASF pathogenesis in the broader sense but with a focus on the pandemic genotype II strains. In this way, it is designed as an update and supplement to existing review articles on the same topic.