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The impact of African Swine Fever Virus on smallholder village pig production: an outbreak investigation in Lao PDR
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  • Nina Matsumoto,
  • J Siengsanan-Lamont,
  • Tariq Halasa,
  • James Young,
  • Michael Ward,
  • Bounlom douangngeun,
  • Watthana theppangna,
  • Syseng Khounsy,
  • Jenny-Ann Toribio,
  • Russell Bush,
  • S.D. Blacksell
Nina Matsumoto
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science
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J Siengsanan-Lamont
Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit
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Tariq Halasa
Section of Animal welfare and Disease Control Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Copenhagen 1870 Frederiksberg C Denmark
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James Young
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science
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Michael Ward
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science
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Bounlom douangngeun
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
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Watthana theppangna
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
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Syseng Khounsy
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
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Jenny-Ann Toribio
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science
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Russell Bush
The University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science
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S.D. Blacksell
Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit
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Abstract

African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) causes a deadly disease of pigs which spread through southeast Asia in 2019. We investigated one of the first outbreaks of ASFV in Lao Peoples Democratic Republic amongst smallholder villages of Thapangtong District, Savannakhet Province. In this study, two ASFV affected villages were compared to two unaffected villages. Evidence of ASFV-like clinical signs appeared in pig herds as early as May 2019, with median epidemic days on 1 and 18 June in the two villages, respectively. Using participatory epidemiology mapping techniques, we found statistically significant spatial clustering in both outbreaks (P < 0.001). Villagers reported known risk factors for ASFV transmission − such as free-ranging management systems and wild boar access − in all four villages. The villagers reported increased pig trader activity from Vietnam before the outbreaks; however, the survey did not determine a single outbreak source. The outbreak caused substantial household financial losses with an average of 9 pigs lost to the disease, and Monte Carlo analysis estimated this to be USD 215 per household. ASFV poses a significant threat to food and financial security in smallholder communities such as Thapangtong, where 40.6% of the district’s population are affected by poverty. This study shows ASFV management in the region will require increased local government resources, knowledge of informal trader activity and wild boar monitoring alongside education and support to address intra-village risk factors such as free-ranging, incorrect waste disposal and swill feeding.

Peer review status:ACCEPTED

11 May 2021Submitted to Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
11 May 2021Submission Checks Completed
11 May 2021Assigned to Editor
15 May 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
17 May 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
22 May 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
15 Jun 20211st Revision Received
15 Jun 2021Submission Checks Completed
15 Jun 2021Assigned to Editor
17 Jun 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Jun 2021Editorial Decision: Accept