Iowa Works with Meat Processors to Prepare for FAD; USDA ARS one step closer to ASFV vaccine; African Swine Fever Moving West in Germany
Colin Yoder


Iowa Works with Meat Processors to Prepare for FAD

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is working in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to help prepare meat processing facilities for the implications of a future foreign animal disease (FAD) event. On September 29 a joint meeting was held to help stakeholders in the meat processing industry understand what state and federal response plans entail, and how that could affect the processing industry.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig was quoted in the release, stating “We’ve been focused on foreign animal disease planning for several years, but there’s a sense of urgency now that African Swine Fever has been detected in the western hemisphere. We want to make sure stakeholders throughout the supply chain understand our response plans so they can adjust accordingly to minimize disruptions for producers, retailers and consumers.”
While foreign animal diseases such as African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease pose no risk to human health, processing facilities would still be important stakeholders in the event of an outbreak. If a processing facility was located in a control zone or found to have an epidemiologic link to an outbreak, delays or restrictions in animal movements to that facility could result. Meeting attendees discussed ways to ensure animal welfare and biosecurity should such an event occur.

Iowa DALS press release


USDA ARS one step closer to ASFV vaccine

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Research Services (ARS) has announced that it’s ASFV-G-ΔI177L vaccine candidate is effective at protecting both European and Asian breeds of pigs when challenged with the current strain of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) circulating in Asia. The vaccine is based upon the virulent strain of the virus isolated from the 2007 outbreak of ASFV in the country of Georgia. It is a recombinant vaccine which was created by deletion of the I77L gene from the Georgia virus strain.

The recently published study showed that all pigs inoculated with sufficient doses of the attenuated live virus survived virus challenge 28 days later with a virulent Vietnamese isolate of ASFV. No differences were seen in protection based on the European or Asian genetic background of the pigs, indicating promise that the vaccine candidate may be used widely across commercial production systems.

Because of the current lack of vaccines, control strategies for ASFV have relied on culling affected animals. It is estimated that the current outbreak in Asia has resulted in $55-130 billion in direct economic loss. While the virus has not been found yet in the United States, it has recently been found in the America’s in both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The development of a commercially viable vaccine would be an important step in protecting the United States pork industry should the virus be found in the states.

USDA ARS announcement


African Swine Fever Moving West in Germany

The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut of Germany has confirmed a case of African Swine Fever (ASFV) in a hunted wild boar from the Meissen district in Saxony. This case represents the furthest west ASFV has been found in Germany, nearly 55km further west than the current exclusion zone in the  Görlitz district. This is the first case of ASFV in Saxony outside of the Görlitz district, which has had over 500 cases in wild boars.

The ASF crisis team is meeting with the Ministry of Social Affairs to discuss the situation and determine what restriction zone boundaries need to be established. The source of the outbreak has yet to be determined as reported by PigProgress, the Saxony state secretary Sebastian Vogel commented “The source of the entry is not yet known, the epidemiological investigations have already started. We are currently assuming that it is not a matter of transmission by migrating wild boar from the infected areas in the Görlitz district. It is now necessary to determine the extent of the outbreak in the Meissen district, in particular whether and to what extent the infection process has progressed in order to initiate the necessary measures.”

This case of ASFV was found as part of the ASF monitoring program which requires all healthy wild boars shot to be tested. With this case, the total number of cases in Saxony and Brandenburg has risen to 2500 for the year, with only 3 cases being found in small domestic herds.

ProMED - 10/14/21- African swine fever - Europe (24): Germany (SN) wild boar, westward spread


Colin Yoder

Colin Yoder DVM MS is one of the current Veterinary Public Health and Preventative Medicine Residents with CAHFS. Prior to completing his DVM at Iowa State University, he received an MS in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Iowa. He comes to the University of Minnesota after having been in private dairy practice in both Wisconsin and Iowa for a decade where he worked with farms ranging in size from 2 cows up to 4500, in addition to work with beef, small ruminant, and swine producers. During this time Dr. Yoder developed an interest in increasing his preventative medicine skills and began work on an MPH through the University of Minnesota. Colin's professional interests are related to epidemiology, preventative medicine and how to bring these tools to practicing veterinarians and farmers.