Spatio-temporal analysis of african swine fever in Sardinia (2012-2014): trends in domestic pigs and wild boar
Rodríguez Hernández, Antonio
De la Torre, A.
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African swine fever (ASF) is a notiﬁable viral disease affecting domestic pigs and wild boars that has been endemic in Sardinia since 1978. Several risk factors complicate the control of ASF in Sardinia: generally poor level of biosecurity, traditional breeding practices, illegal behaviour in movements and feeding of pigs, and sporadic occurrence of long-term carriers. A previous study describes the disease in Sardinia during 1978-2013. The aim of this study was to gain more in-depth knowledge of the spatio-temporal pattern of ASF in Sardinia during 2012 to May 2014, comparing patterns of occurrence in domestic pigs and wild boar and identifying areas of local transmission. African swine fever notiﬁcations were studied considering seasonality, spatial autocorrelation, spatial point pattern and spatiotemporal clusters. Results showed differences in temporal and spatial pattern of wild boar and domestic pig notiﬁcations. The peak in wild boar notiﬁcations (October 2013 to February 2014) occurred six months after than in domestic pig (May to early summer 2013). Notiﬁcations of cases in both host species tended to be clustered, with a maximum signiﬁcant distance of spatial association of 15 and 25 km in domestic pigs and wild boars, respectively. Five clusters for local ASF transmission were identiﬁed for domestic pigs, with a mean radius and duration of 4 km (3-9 km) and 38 days (6-55 days), respectively. Any wild boar clusters were found. The apparently secondary role of wild boar in ASF spread in Sardinia could be explained by certain socio-economic factors (illegal free-range pig breeding or the mingling of herds. The lack of effectiveness of previous surveillance and control programmes reveals the necessity of employing a new approach). Results present here provide better knowledge of the dynamics of ASF in Sardinia, which could be used in a more comprehensive risk analysis necessary to introduce a new approach in the eradication strategy.