African swine fever (ASF): Five years around Europe

José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Lina Mur, Beatriz Martinez Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

119 Scopus citations


Since African swine fever (ASF) was re-introduced into Eastern Europe in April 2007, the disease has spread through five countries, drastically changing the European ASF situation. This re-introduction has significant implications for the affected countries, and it puts the European Union (EU) at serious risk of ASF introduction. Numerous factors are complicating the control of ASF in the Russian Federation and neighboring areas, particularly the absence of a coordinated control program, the abundance of backyard pig units with low or no biosecurity and the traditional use of swill feeding. All these risk factors are driven in turn by socio-economic, political and cultural factors. Moreover, the lack of clear information regarding the current situation of ASF in the Trans-Caucasus countries such as Armenia and Georgia may be increasing the risk of ASF spread into neighboring areas. The ASF situation in Eastern Europe poses a constant risk of ASF entry into the EU, especially via routes that are difficult to control, such as wild boar movements, illegal movement of animals and animal products and movements of contaminated vehicles or other fomites. This paper reviews and discusses current ASF epidemiology in Eastern Europe, the factors that may contribute to disease endemicity in the area, the current challenges for disease control, and the risk of introduction into the EU.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • African swine fever
  • Disease control
  • Europe
  • Risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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