Detection of African Swine Fever Virus and Blood Meals of Porcine Origin in Hematophagous Insects Collected Adjacent to a High-Biosecurity Pig Farm in Lithuania; A Smoking Gun?

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A seasonal trend of African swine fever (ASF) outbreaks in domestic pig farms has been observed in affected regions of Eastern Europe. Most outbreaks have been observed during the warmer summer months, coinciding with the seasonal activity pattern of blood-feeding insects. These insects may offer a route for introduction of the ASF virus (ASFV) into domestic pig herds. In this study, insects (hematophagous flies) collected outside the buildings of a domestic pig farm, without ASFV-infected pigs, were analyzed for the presence of the virus. Using qPCR, ASFV DNA was detected in six insect pools; in four of these pools, DNA from suid blood was also identified. This detection coincided with ASFV being reported in the wild boar population within a 10 km radius of the pig farm. These findings show that blood from ASFV-infected suids was present within hematophagous flies on the premises of a pig farm without infected animals and support the hypothesis that blood-feeding insects can potentially transport the virus from wild boars into domestic pig farms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1255
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© 2023 by the authors.

    Research areas

  • ASF, hematophagous insects, high-biosecurity farm, vector, virus introduction, virus transmission

ID: 362700303