African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes severe disease in domestic pigs and wild boar with mortality rates as high as 100%. (16) There is currently no treatment or vaccine available, and control relies on biosecurity measures to prevent outbreaks of this highly contagious disease from spreading. The virus is very stable in the environment, and contaminated meat and meat products are an ever-present risk for seeding of outbreaks.
ASFV has proven extremely difficult to make a safe and effective vaccine against, and currently there are no authorized ASF vaccines. Some unlicensed ASF vaccines are on the market, but are associated with safety and efficacy concerns. There is also a risk of introducing ASFV through the use of poorly attenuated vaccines.
In 2019, ASF devastated Vietnam’s pig farming, with a total of nearly 6 million pigs culled representing approximately 20% of the pig population and equating to roughly US $806,000. China was also significantly impacted with 40 million pigs lost costing an estimated $111 billion to the economy after just a year since ASF was introduced in 2018.