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How could an African swine fever outbreak evolve in an enzootic context? The case of Imerintsiatosika, Madagascar in 2015

Rasamoelina Andriamanivo H., Randriamananjara D., Ralalarison R.A., Nomenjanahary L.A., Razafindraibe N.P., Andria-Mananjara D.E., Rakotomanana D.O., Fenozara P.S., Biarmann M., Halm A., Razafimandimby H., Flachet L., Cardinale E.. 2019. PloS One, 14 (9) : 16 p..

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0221928

African swine fever (ASF) is a haemorrhagic contagious pig disease generally causing high mortality. ASF is enzootic in Madagascar with outbreaks reported each year. An ASF outbreak occurred in May 2015 in the municipality of Imerintsiatosika in Madagascar. We investigated the outbreak to describe it and to identify risk factors in order to propose control measures, and to document evidence of an ASF outbreak in an enzootic country. We took biological samples from very sick and dying pigs, sold by the farmer to the butcher, for PCR analysis. An active search for all possible farm-cases was carried out. A definition of suspected farm-case was established and we implemented a descriptive survey and a retrospective cohort study. Laboratory results confirmed ASF virus infection. Suspected farm-cases represented 81 farms out of 922. Out of 3081 pigs of infected farms, 44% (95% CI: 42¿46%) were sick, of which 47% were sold or slaughtered. Case fatality was 60% (95% CI: 56¿63%) while 21% (95% CI: 19¿24%) of the diseased pigs recovered. The outbreak duration was nine months and half of the infected farms' pig population remained after the outbreak. Compared to the exotic breed, local pigs had twice the risk of infection. It is the first detailed report of an ASF outbreak in an enzootic situation. The disease still has a large impact with 50% animals lost. However, the case fatality is lower than expected that suggests the possibility of resistance and subclinical cases. Proximity to road and increased number of farms are risk factors so biosecurity measures are needed. Further studies are needed to understand why pigs of local breed are more affected. Finally, an acceptable alternative to the sale of sick animals should be found as this currently is the breeders' means to reducing economic loss.

Mots-clés : Épidémiologie; peste porcine africaine; virus peste porcine africaine; maladie des animaux; épidémie; endémie; madagascar

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