Archives of Virology

, Volume 160, Issue 7, pp 1657–1667 | Cite as

Course and transmission characteristics of oral low-dose infection of domestic pigs and European wild boar with a Caucasian African swine fever virus isolate

  • Jana Pietschmann
  • Claire Guinat
  • Martin Beer
  • Valery Pronin
  • Kerstin Tauscher
  • Anja Petrov
  • Günther Keil
  • Sandra Blome
Original Article


In 2007, African swine fever virus (ASFV) was introduced into the Transcaucasian countries and Russia. Since then, it has spread alarmingly and reached the European Union. ASFV strains are highly virulent and lead to almost 100 % mortality under experimental conditions. However, the possibility of dose-dependent disease courses has been discussed. For this reason, a study was undertaken to assess the risk of chronic disease and the establishment of carriers upon low-dose oronasal infection of domestic pigs and European wild boar. It was demonstrated that very low doses of ASFV are sufficient to infect especially weak or runted animals by the oronasal route. Some of these animals did not show clinical signs indicative of ASF, and they developed almost no fever. However, no changes were observed in individual animal regarding the onset, course and outcome of infection as assessed by diagnostic tests. After amplification of ASFV by these animals, pen- and stablemates became infected and developed acute lethal disease with similar characteristics in all animals. Thus, we found no indication of prolonged or chronic individual courses upon low-dose infection in either species. The scattered onset of clinical signs and pathogen detection within and among groups confirms moderate contagiosity that is strongly linked with blood contact. In conclusion, the prolonged course at the “herd level” together with the exceptionally low dose that proved to be sufficient to infect a runted wild boar could be important for disease dynamics in wild-boar populations and in backyard settings.


Wild Boar Basic Reproduction Number African Swine Fever African Swine Fever Virus Wild Boar Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank all animal caretakers and technicians involved in this study for their excellent work. We are also very grateful to William Gilbert for improving the readability of this paper. This work was carried out as part of the European Union–funded project ASFORCE (Seventh Framework Programme, FP7/2007-2013, under Grant Agreement no. 311931).

Supplementary material

705_2015_2430_MOESM1_ESM.ppt (128 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Rectal body temperatures of wild boar and domestic pigs after infection. Elevated body temperature (≥ 40.0 °C < 41.0 °C) is shaded in grey, whereas body temperature ≥ 41.0 °C is highlighted in orange. WB, wild boar; DP, domestic pig; dpi, days postinfection. “✞“ indicates that the animal was already dead at this time point. *, no data (PPT 128 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jana Pietschmann
    • 1
  • Claire Guinat
    • 5
  • Martin Beer
    • 1
  • Valery Pronin
    • 2
  • Kerstin Tauscher
    • 3
  • Anja Petrov
    • 1
  • Günther Keil
    • 4
  • Sandra Blome
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Diagnostic VirologyFriedrich-Loeffler-InstitutGreifswald-Insel RiemsGermany
  2. 2.National Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of RussiaPokrov, Petushki AreaRussia
  3. 3.Department of Experimental Animal Facilities and Biorisk ManagementFriedrich-Loeffler-InstitutGreifswald-Insel RiemsGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Molecular BiologyFriedrich-Loeffler-InstitutGreifswald-Insel RiemsGermany
  5. 5.Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health GroupRoyal Veterinary CollegeHatfieldUK

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