Laboratory tests are essential for the diagnosis of African swine fever (ASF) and are key to the success of ASF surveillance activities.
Chapter 3.9.1. of the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals (Terrestrial Manual) describes the recognised international standards for ASF diagnosis. However, in certain circumstances, the timely submission, processing and testing of samples using the diagnostic tests described in the Terrestrial Manual are not feasible. The ability to test for ASF at the point of disease allows for rapid response to outbreaks and control of the spread of disease in endemic situations.
Despite not being included in the Register of Diagnostic Kits certified by the OIE as validated as fit for purpose, there are several diagnostic platforms, also known as penside or point-of-need / point-of-care testing (PoC tests), that are available commercially for field testing. These include basic rapid test kits for detecting antigens or antibodies using lateral flow devices that are simple to use, require minimal training and can provide a result within approximately 20 minutes.
To serve as a guide, the OIE ASF Reference Laboratory Network put together a summary of these PoC test kits for field workers, practitioners, and decision-makers. The guide is available in English and Spanish.