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African Swine Fever

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Carmen Lobitz
African Swine Fever
This photograph depicts a domesticated pig that was exhibiting symptoms indicative of African swine fever (ASF), which included these cyanotic changes seen at the tip of its right ear. © CDC/ Dr. Jerry J. Callis, PIADC/Dr. Brian W.J. Mahy, CDC
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What is African swine fever? African swine fever is a deadly animal disease that only appears among porcine species such as pigs and wild boars. African swine fever is not a zoonosis (a disease that may spread among animals and humans and can be transmitted either way) and therefore is not dangerous to human beings. The causative agent of the disease is the African swine fever virus (ASF virus).

What properties are known of the African swine fever virus?

The African swine fever virus is a large, complex DNA-virus. The virus is the only classified member of a family called Asfarviridae meaning African swine fever-like viruses. Sequence analyses of ASF-virus DNA in varying geographic locations and over a long period of time have shown that multiple genotypes of the African swine fever virus exist. It is a resilient virus which is resistant to a wide pH range and can remain infectious for several months at room temperature or even when it is stored at 4° C. Thus, the African swine fever virus can stay unbothered in unprocessed meat for weeks and can only be inactivated by heating for at least half an hour at 70° C.

How is the virus transmitted?

African swine fever originates in…

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