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Vet J. 2003 Jan;165(1):11-20.

Clinical signs and epidemiology of classical swine fever: a review of new knowledge.

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Institute of Virology, School of Veterinary Medicine, Buenteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.


Although classical swine fever (CSF) has been well known for decades and epidemics still occur, clinical diagnosis continues to cause problems for veterinary practitioners. This is due to the extensive differential diagnosis, further complicated by the emergence of new diseases such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) and porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS). In addition, acute, chronic and prenatal courses of CSF have to be distinguished. As a cause of considerable economical losses within the EU, control of CSF requires knowledge of the primary outbreaks and spread of the disease. Genetic typing of CSF virus isolates has proved to be a potent method of supporting epidemiological investigations. Phylogenetic analysis of CSF virus strains and isolates originating from different continents has allowed three genetic groups and several subgroups within these groups to be distinguished. Whereas isolates belonging to group 3 seem to occur solely in Asia, all CSF virus isolates of the 1990s isolated in the EU belonged to one of the subgroups within group 2 (2.1, 2.2, or 2.3) and were clearly distinct from former CSF reference viruses, which belong to group 1. Within the EU, different strategies are followed for the eradication of CSF in domestic pigs and in wild boar. While a strict non-vaccination policy is followed for domestic pigs, eradication of the disease in wild boar is more complex, and oral immunisation together with special hunting strategies have been applied. Recently, marker vaccines with a companion discriminatory test designed to allow differentiation between vaccinated animals and animals having recovered from field virus infection have been developed. Preliminary studies indicated that the discriminatory tests had a reduced sensitivity and specificity. Further improvements are therefore necessary before marker vaccines can be considered for emergency use in EU Member States. Prevention of CSF remains the main objective within the EU.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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