A Kansas State University researcher and her team is studying the possible routes for introduction and transmission of African Swine Disease through livestock feed and its ingredients.
The study, named “Infectious dose of African swine fever virus when consumed naturally in liquid or feed,” was conducted by Megan Niederwerder and her team of collaborators.
It was published in Emerging Infectious Diseases and details the dose necessary to transmit the disease when pigs consume virus-contaminated feed or liquid.
Niederwerder et al found that the level of virus required to infect liquid was extremely low and demonstrates the high infectivity of African swine fever through oral transmission. Although contaminating the feed requires a higher virus concentration, the gravity of the exposure could make the feed a more significant risk factor.
African swine fever is a disease that spread among the pigs in China as 2018 drew to a close. The virus has proven to be fatal among swine but has shown no negative impacts on human health.
In the later months, ASF has become a threat to other countries and their meat industries, which is why different organizations are doing research on ways to prevent the virus from entering national borders and how to eradicate it in the event that it does.