Ability of different matrices to transmit African swine fever virus

Soren Saxmose Nielsen, Julio Alvarez, Dominique Joseph Bicout, Paolo Calistri, Elisabetta Canali, Julian Ashley Drewe, Bruno Garin-Bastuji, Jose Luis Gonzales Rojas, Christian Gortazar Schmidt, Mette Herskin, Miguel Angel Miranda Chueca, Virginie Michel, Barbara Padalino, Paolo Pasquali, Liisa Helena Sihvonen, Hans Spoolder, Karl Stahl, Antonio Velarde Calvo, Arvo Viltrop, Christoph WincklerAnette Boklund, Anette Botner, Andrea Gervelmeyer, Olaf Mosbach-Schulz, Helen Clare Roberts, EFSA Panel on Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW)

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This opinion assesses the risk posed by different matrices to introduce African swine fever virus (ASFV) to non-affected regions of the EU. Matrices assessed are feed materials, enrichment/bedding materials and empty live pigs transport vehicles returning from affected areas. Although the risk from feed is considered to be lower than several other pathways (e.g. contact with infected live animals and swill feeding), it cannot be ruled out that matrices assessed in this opinion pose a risk. Evidence on survival of ASFV in different matrices from literature and a public consultation was used in an Expert Knowledge Elicitation (EKE) on the possible contamination of products and traded or imported product volumes used on pig farms. The EKE results were used in a model that provided a risk-rank for each product's contamination likelihood ('q'), its trade or import volume from affected EU or Eurasian areas (N) and the modelled number of potentially infected pig farms (N x q). The products ranking higher regardless of origin or destination were mash and pelleted compound feed, feed additives and cereals. Bedding/enrichment materials, hydrolysed proteins and blood products ranked lowest regardless of origin or destination. Empty vehicles ranked lower than compound feed but higher than non-compound feed or bedding/enrichment material. It is very likely (95-99% certainty) that compound feed and cereals rank higher than feed materials, which rank higher than bedding/enrichment material and forage. As this is an assessment based on several parameters including the contamination and delivery to a pig farm, all of which have the same impact on the final ranking, risk managers should consider how the relative rank of each product may change with an effective storage period or a virus inactivation step. (C) 2021 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.

Original languageEnglish
Article number06558
JournalEFSA Journal
Number of pages109
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • African swine fever
  • virus survival
  • virus transmission
  • feed
  • vehicles


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