• Defend Library

  • Here we share published research papers from the Defend project

  • Evaluation of the Efficiency of Active and Passive Surveillance in the Detection of African Swine Fever in Wild Boar
    Vincenzo Gervasi, Andrea Marcon, Silvia Bellini and Vittorio Guberti
  • African swine fever (ASF) is one of the most severe diseases of pigs. It is spread by wild boar, particularly in Europe. This work built a simulation model to determine the best surveillance method to use to detect ASF in wild boar populations. The work found that actively searching for dead wild boar carcasses is a much better way of detecting the disease when compared to hunting wild boar.
  • R0 Estimation for the African Swine Fever Epidemics in Wild Boar of Czech Republic and Belgium
    Andrea Marcon, Annick Linden, Petr Satran,Vincenzo Gervasi, Alain Licoppe and Vittorio Guberti
  • Wild boar populations are an important reservoir for African swine fever virus in Europe. This research examines how best to estaimte the number of infected wild boar in a population, information that can be used to build an effective eradication strategy.
  • Madin-Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cells are a suitable cell line for the propagation and study of the bovine poxvirus lumpy skin disease virus
    Petra C.Fay, Charlotte G.Cook, Najith Wijesiriwardana, Gessica Tore, Loic Comtet, Alix Carpentier, Barbara Shih, Graham Freimanis, Ismar R.Haga, Philippa M.Beard
  • Lumpy skin disease virus is a neglected virus with a sparce research base. A lack of research tools specifically for LSDV hampers investigations into the virus and the disease it causes. This work describes new methods for studying LSDV including how to detect and measure anti-LSDV antibodies, how to sequence the full genome of LSDV and how to titrate LSDV.
  • A Review of Environmental Risk Factors for African Swine Fever in European Wild Boar
    Hannes Bergmann; Katja Schulz; Franz Josef Conraths; Carola Sauter-Louis
  • Wild boar are an important wildlife host for African swine fever virus (ASFV), particularly in Europe where they are the predominant host of the virus. The presence of ASFV in a wild boar population represents an immediate threat for domestic pig farms in the area. This publication reviews the currently known environmental risk factors for ASF in wild boar and specifically assesses the role that climate, land cover, and human activity play in the occurrence of ASF in wild boar. A better understanding of these risk factors will enable better ASF control measures in wild boar and therefore in domestic pig populations.
  • A Review of Risk Factors of African Swine Fever Incursion in Pig Farming within the European Union Scenario
    Silvia Bellini, Gabriele Casadei, Giorgia De Lorenzi and Marco Tamba
  • No effective treatment or vaccination is available for African swine fever virus (ASFV), therefore disease control relies on management tools, such as biosecurity measures. This paper is a systematic review of the literature to identify the risk factors for ASFV associated with different European pig farming systems. Different farming systems, such as commercial farms, outdoor farms and backyard farms, have their own unique set of risk factors, stressing the need to tailor biosecurity measures to risk factors relevant for different pig farming practices.
  • A robust, cost-effective and widely applicable whole-genome sequencing protocol for Capripoxviruses
    Elisabeth Mathijs, Andy Haegeman, Kris De Clercq, Steven Van Borm, Frank Vandenbussche
  • Full genome sequencing of capripoxvirus species (lumpy skin disease virus, sheeppox virus and goatpox virus) is a powerful tool for identifying the cause of disease and tracking outbreak sources. However it is challenging due to the size and complexity of the capripoxvirus genome. This work describes a novel, simple, cost-effective and rapid method for sequencing and constructing nearly complete genome sequences of capropoxviruses. This will aid reseachers investigating capripoxvirus disease worldwide.
  • Combining Hunting and Intensive Carcass Removal to Eradicate African Swine Fever from Wild Boar Populations
    Vincenzo Gervasi, Vittorio Guberti
  • Since arriving in Giorgia in 2007, African swine fever virus (ASFV) has found a new ecological reservoir in wild boar populations of Eurasia. This publication used spatial modelling to study ASF in a wild boar population. The results highlight the difficulty in eradicating ASF from a wild boar population. Both hunting and carcass removal are likely to be required and must be underpinned by considerable effort and resource. A 30% annual hunting rate and an intensive carcass removal during a 2-month period in late winter (February-March) was the best performing scenario. The aim should be to remove as many infected wild boar carcasses as possible from the affected areas, with at least 5-15 carcasses removed for each 100 hunted wild boar.
  • Cellular and Humoral Immune Responses after Immunisation with Low Virulent African Swine Fever Virus in the Large White Inbred Babraham Line and Outbred Domestic Pigs
    Lynnette C. Goatley, Rachel H. Nash, Catherine Andrews, Zoe Hargreaves, Priscilla Tng, Ana Luisa Reis, Simon P. Graham and Christopher L. Netherton
  • This study examined the immune response of pigs to infection with African swine fever virus. It compared the immune response of outbred and inbred pigs, and found that antibodies correlated with protection in the inbred pigs, however the cell mediated immune response correlated with protection in the outbred pigs. This knowledge will aid the develop of new tools, such as vaccines and diagnostic tests, to help control this disease.
  • Estimating the risk of environmental contamination by forest users in African Swine Fever endemic areas
    Vincenzo Gervasi, Andrea Marcon & Vittorio Guberti
  • African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) can survive for long periods in the environment, and humans can unintentionally act as transmitters, picking up the virus from forest environments and introducing it to pig farms, causing outbreaks of disease. This study describes a simulation study which reconstructed the probability of different forms of human-mediated ASF contamination. Wild boar supplemental feeding and forest logging emerged as the riskiest activities in terms of contamination probabilities, but the risk was highly influenced by the frequency and intensity of forest use. The risk of human-mediated ASF environmental contamination should not be disregarded when planning management actions to reduce ASF circulation and prevent its breach into the pig farming system.
  • The immune response to lumpy skin disease virus in cattle is influenced by inoculation route
    Petra C. Fay, Najith Wijesiriwardana, Henry Munyanduki, Beatriz Sanz-Bernardo, Isabel Lewis, Ismar R. Haga, Katy Moffat, Arnoud H. M. van Vliet, Jayne Hope, Simon P. Graham and Philippa M. Beard
  • Information about the immune response of cattle to lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) is limited. This research characterised the immune response to calves challenged with LSDV. It compared the response of cattle inoculated with a needle to cattle inoculated with virus-positive insects. The immune response was more consistent in cattle inoculated with virus-positive insects, and revealed the early and robust production of IgM antibodies in cattle that were protected from disease. This suggests that a strong and early antibody response could provide protection for cattle against LSDV.
  • Evidence of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus Transmission from Subclinically Infected Cattle by Stomoxys calcitrans
    Haegeman A.*1, Sohier C.* 1, Mostin L. 2, De Leeuw I. 1, Van Campe W. 2, Philips W.3, De Regge N. 1, De Clercq K. 1
  • Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) causes severe, systemic disease in cattle. LSDV is transmitted by biting insects such as Stomoxys calcitrans stable flies. This paper describes successful experimental transmission of LSDV from a clinical and a nonclinical donor animal to a naïve recipient animal. Transmission from a pre-clinical animal was not successful. This work shows for the first time that subclinical animals can contribute to LSDV transmission, and they should be considered when designing LSD control programmes.