African swine fever and the proven disinfectant to prevent huge economic losses

Thursday, November 26, 2020

African swine fever and the proven disinfectant to prevent huge economic losses

Zagro Asia Limited


Dozens of countries continue to with deal African Swine Fever as it persists to infest swine farming communities in Asia, Europe, and Africa.

The spread of ASF in different regions is a global threat that poses challenges to food security, biodiversity, and to the livelihood of many. The ASF outbreaks resulted to direct and indirect massive economic losses for the pig farming industry and the pork export markets, already incurring billions in damages.

What is African Swine Fever

African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV), a large, double-stranded DNA virus which replicates in the cytoplasm of infected cells and belongs to the family of Asfarviridae, is the causative agent of African Swine Fever (ASF).

Causing a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates in pigs, ASFV persistently infects its natural hosts, bush pigs, warthogs and soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros, with no clinical signs and symptoms.

The ASF virus survives well under most environmental conditions (2-3 months in carcases and in farm sheds). It can survive for many months in meat (3 months in ham, 6 months in bone marrow of ham, 18 months in blood meal), and it also resists to freezing process but is inactivated by high temperature (30 min exposure at 60 °C).

The severity and distribution of the lesions also vary according to virulence of the virus. On average, severe cases of the disease are characterized by high fever and death in 2-10 days, while the mortality rate can be as high as 100%. Other clinical signs of ASF include bleeding from the nose or rectum, depression, loss of appetite, redness of the skin of the ears, abdomen, and legs, respiratory distress, vomiting, and sometimes, diarrhoea.

Prevention and control measures against ASF

There is still no known cure nor vaccine for African Swine Fever, and the only remedy right now is prevention through tight biosecurity measures. Countries still free from the disease depend on stringent import policies to ensure that neither pork products nor infected live pigs would be introduced from ASF effected areas.

It is difficult to eliminate the natural reservoir in warthogs in endemic areas. However, it is important to control the soft tick vectors to prevent the disease. Just as important is to ensure that meat from infected animals or warthogs are not fed to susceptible pigs.

All successful ASF eradication programs depend on rapid diagnose, slaughter and proper disposal of all animals on infected areas, thorough cleaning and disinfection of premises, and strict movement controls and surveillance. In a proper prevention program, it should also be considered to use a disinfectant that is proven against ASF.

Recently, Zagro Asia Limited conducted testing of its key disinfectant Ultraxide™against ASF, knowing that at this point, only a sound biosecurity measure is viable against the virus.

They commissioned for independent evaluation of Ultraxide™ against the ASF virus in Spain with CISA, the European Union reference laboratory for ASF since 2002.

Test conclusion of Ultraxide™ disinfectant

In accordance with the EN 14675 test method, which was modified to enable testing against the ASF virus, test results showed that Ultraxide™achieved complete inactivation of the ASF virus at a 1:300, 1:200, and at 1:100 dilution rate at the exposure time of 5 minutes.

The test method employed included the presence of organic matter and hard water. And in order to assess the disinfectant's performance and suitability for use in various farm set ups across the globe, the test was conducted at low temperature (10˚ C).


Conclusion from the test result

The results provided confirmation of the efficacy of Ultraxide™ in deactivating the African Swine Fever virus rapidly in a laboratory set up and also in real life farm settings.



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Article made possible through the contribution of Zagro Asia Limited