EID Journal Home > Volume 16, Number 12–December 2010
Volume 16, Number 12–December 2010
Emergence of African Swine Fever Virus, Northwestern Iran
Pooneh Rahimi, Amir Sohrabi, Javad Ashrafihelan, Rosita Edalat, Mehran Alamdari, Mohammadhossein Masoudi, Saied Mostofi, and Kayhan Azadmanesh Comments to Author
Author affiliations: Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran (P. Rahimi, A. Sohrabi, R. Edalat, K. Azadmanesh); University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran (J. Ashrafihelan); and Veterinary Organization, Tabriz (M. Alamdari, M. Masoudi, S. Mostofi)
Suggested citation for this article
In 2008, African swine fever was introduced into Georgia, after which it spread to neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation. That same year, PCR and sequence analysis identified African swine fever virus in samples from 3 dead female wild boars in northwestern Iran. Wild boars may serve as a reservoir.
African swine fever (ASF) is a notifiable, highly contagious, lethal, hemorrhagic disease in domestic pigs (1,2). ASF virus (ASFV) (International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses database no. 00.002.0.01.001), an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus, is the only known DNA arbovirus (3). Maintenance and transmission of ASFV involves cycling of virus between soft ticks of the genus Ornithodoros and wild pigs (warthogs, bush pigs, and giant forest boars) (1,2). The virus can also be acquired through ingestion of contaminated feed.
The syndrome caused by ASFV in pigs was initially described in Kenya and later in most other African countries (1,4). In Africa, it causes a long-term, persistent infection in warthogs and bush pigs (2,3,5). Clinical diagnosis of ASF is difficult because signs of ASF and other hemorrhagic diseases are similar and because virulence varies among ASFV isolates (1,2,5,6).
In June 2007, ASFV was identified in the Caucasus region, including Georgia, Russian Federation, and Armenia (2). Diagnosis near the port of Poti, Georgia, was based on clinical findings, and virus identification was later confirmed by laboratory investigations. ASFV might have been introduced into Georgia by ships carrying contaminated pork or pork products from other countries. After entering Georgia, the virus extended into Armenia in August 2007. The probable route of virus entry into Armenia was movement of infected pigs and wild boars across the border (7). By the end of 2007, an outbreak had occurred in Yerevan and Ararat, after which 1 additional case occurred in February 2008.
In December 2007, the Russian Federation reported its first ASF outbreak since the 1970s. The virus may have entered through neighboring Georgia (7,8). In January 2008, presence of ASF was officially confirmed in northwest Azerbaijan, ≈180 km east of the Georgia border (village of Nic). Because most residents of Nic keep pigs in backyard smallholdings, ASFV may have entered Nic in contaminated pork (or pork products) or in infected wild boars (7,8).
In December 2008 and January 2009, ASFV spread to wild boars in northwestern Iran. As in Georgia, initial diagnosis was based on clinical signs and postmortem examinations. Virus identification was subsequently confirmed by laboratory investigations.
Rahimi P, Sohrabi A, Ashrafihelan J, Edalat R, Alamdari M, Masoudi M, et al. Emergence of African swine fever virus, northwestern Iran. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 Dec [date cited]. http://www.cdc.gov/EID/content/16/12/1946.htm
Comments to the Authors
Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:
Kayhan Azadmanesh, Department of Virology, Pasteur Institute of Iran, PO Box 1316942551, 12th Farvardin St, Pasteur Ave, Tehran, Iran; email: email@example.com
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