Enhanced passive surveillance to early detect African and classical swine fevers


D. Schettino, E. Lantigua, D. Perez, O. Beemer, M. Remmenga, C. Vanicek, G. Lopes, J. Arzt, R. Reyes & A. Perez

African swine fever (ASF) and classical swine fever (CSF) are transboundary animal diseases (TADs) of pigs. Much effort and resources are regularly put into preventing these diseases’ introduction in free areas. Passive surveillance activities bring the highest chances for the early detection of TAD incursions because they are routinely and widely conducted at the farm, and because these activities focus on the time between introduction and the time the first sample is sent for diagnostic testing. Here, we proposed the implementation of an enhanced passive surveillance (EPS) protocol based on collecting data through participatory surveillance actions using an objective and adaptable scoring system to aid the early detection of ASF or CSF at the farm level. The protocol was applied in two commercial pig farms for ten weeks in the Dominican Republic, which is a CSF- and ASF-infected country. This study was a proof of concept, based on the EPS protocol to aid detection of substantial variations in the risk score triggering testing. One of the followed farms had score variation, which triggered testing of the animals, although the test results were negative. The study help assess some of the weaknesses and learn lessons applicable to the problem. Results demonstrate the potential for overcoming some issues preventing the broad application of EPS protocols and suggest that standardised approaches may contribute to the early detection of CSF and ASF introductions.

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