Putative Role of Arthropod Vectors in African Swine Fever Virus Transmission in Relation to Their Bio-Ecological Properties

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2020
Authors:S. I. Bonnet, Bouhsira, E., De_Regge, N., Fite, J., Etoré, F., Garigliany, M. - M., Jori, F., Lempereur, L., Le_Potier, M. - F., Quillery, E., Saegerman, C., Vergne, T., Vial, L.
Pagination:16 pp
Date Published:Jul-2020
Type of Article:e778 Review
Keywords:African swine fever virus, arthropods, biting flies, Culicoides, fleas, lice, mosquitoes, sand flies, ticks, transmission

African swine fever (ASF) is one of the most important diseases in Suidae due to its significant health and socioeconomic consequences and represents a major threat to the European pig industry, especially in the absence of any available treatment or vaccine. In fact, with its high mortality rate and the subsequent trade restrictions imposed on affected countries, ASF can dramatically disrupt the pig industry in afflicted countries. In September 2018, ASF was unexpectedly identified in wild boars from southern Belgium in the province of Luxembourg, not far from the Franco-Belgian border. The French authorities rapidly commissioned an expert opinion on the risk of ASF introduction and dissemination into metropolitan France. In Europe, the main transmission routes of the virus comprise direct contact between infected and susceptible animals and indirect transmission through contaminated material or feed. However, the seasonality of the disease in some pig farms in Baltic countries, including outbreaks in farms with high biosecurity levels, have led to questions on the possible involvement of arthropods in the transmission of the virus. This review explores the current body of knowledge on the most common arthropod families present in metropolitan France. We examine their potential role in spreading ASF—by active biological or mechanical transmission or by passive transport or ingestion—in relation to their bio-ecological properties. It also highlights the existence of significant gaps in our knowledge on vector ecology in domestic and wild boar environments and in vector competence for ASFV transmission. Filling these gaps is essential to further understanding ASF transmission in order to thus implement appropriate management measures.

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