J Vet Sci.  2020 Mar;21(2):e38. 10.4142/jvs.2020.21.e38.

African swine fever: Etiology, epidemiological status in Korea, and perspective on control

  • 1Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61802, USA
  • 2Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul 08826, Korea
  • 3Optipharm Inc., Cheongju 28158, Korea
  • 4Choong Ang Vaccine Laboratories Co. (Ltd.), Daejeon 34055, Korea


African swine fever (ASF), caused by the ASF virus, a member of the Asfarviridae family, is one of the most important diseases in the swine industry due to its clinical and economic impacts. Since the first report of ASF a century ago, ample information has become available, but prevention and treatment measures are still inadequate. Two waves of epizootic outbreaks have occurred worldwide. While the first wave of the epizootic outbreak was controlled in most of the infected areas, the second wave is currently active in the European and Asian continents, causing severe economic losses to the pig industry. There are different patterns of spreading in the outbreaks between those in European and Asian countries. Prevention and control of ASF are very difficult due to the lack of available vaccines and effective therapeutic measures. However, recent outbreaks in South Korea have been successfully controlled on swine farms, although feral pigs are periodically being found to be positive for the ASF virus. Therefore, we would like to share our story regarding the preparation and application of control measures. The success in controlling ASF on farms in South Korea is largely due to the awareness and education of swine farmers and practitioners, the early detection of infected animals, the implementation of strict control policies by the government, and widespread sharing of information among stakeholders. Based on the experience gained from the outbreaks in South Korea, this review describes the current understanding of the ASF virus and its pathogenic mechanisms, epidemiology, and control.


African swine fever; epidemiology; South Korea; disease outbreaks; virology
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