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Vet Microbiol. 2013 Aug 30;165(3-4):243-51. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.03.007. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Quantification of airborne African swine fever virus after experimental infection.

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Central Veterinary Institute, part of Wageningen UR (CVI), Virology Department, P.O. Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands.


Knowledge on African Swine Fever (ASF) transmission routes can be useful when designing control measures against the spread of ASF virus (ASFV). Few studies have focused on the airborne transmission route, and until now no data has been available on quantities of ASF virus (ASFV) in the air. Our aim was to validate an air sampling technique for ASF virus (ASFV) that could be used to detect and quantify virus excreted in the air after experimental infection of pigs. In an animal experiment with the Brazil'78, the Malta'78 and Netherlands'86 isolates, air samples were collected at several time points. For validation of the air sampling technique, ASFV was aerosolised in an isolator, and air samples were obtained using the MD8 air scan device, which was shown to be suitable to detect ASFV. The half-life of ASFV in the air was on average 19 min when analysed by PCR, and on average 14 min when analysed by virus titration. In rooms with infected pigs, viral DNA with titres up to 10(3.2) median tissue culture infective dose equivalents (TCID50eq.)/m(3) could be detected in air samples from day 4 post-inoculation (dpi 4) until the end of the experiments, at dpi 70. In conclusion, this study shows that pigs infected with ASFV will excrete virus in the air, particularly during acute disease. This study provides the first available parameters to model airborne transmission of ASFV.

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