Risk assessment of African swine fever virus in pork in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
African swine fever (ASF) is an acute infectious and deadly viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs of all breeds and ages. ASF virus (ASFV) can spread vastly to non-infected pig population, but it cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans. In Cambodia, first ASF outbreak was transmitted from bordering countries and reported in five provinces. While estimated 70% of ASF widespread all over the country, local farmers experienced a greater economic loss. Among the four components of risk analysis, the study determines the risk assessment, and hazard identification plays a crucial step in risk assessment. The objectives of this study aimed to detect the presence of ASFV in pork on local markets through qualitative risk assessment approach and propose possible measurable recommendations to prevent ASF outbreak. The study was conducted during the period of ASF outbreak in August 2019, and the qualitative detection of ASFV was conducted on pork tissue samples selected from wet markets and supermarkets in Phnom Penh. Sample extractions were isolated from 30 pork tissue samples and detected virus by iiPCR. The qualitative result on detection of ASF virus is confirmed by PCR technique. The ASFV is found in pork tissue samples in wet markets and supermarkets. Of the 30 samples, 21 (70%) were found positive with ASFV, 6 in 9 (20%) tissue samples from supermarkets and 15 in 21 tissue samples from wet markets (50%) confirmed the presence of ASFV. With this result, it indicates that likelihood of the ASF virus transmission would be very likely to occur and the spread of ASF virus in pork tissue samples in wet markets and supermarkets is significantly prevalent, and the virus is likely to spread quickly. Scientifically, there is no vaccine to prevent ASF, and as recommended by FAO, the influenced policy-based implementation is required in place to minimize further production losses. The implementations must be strengthened through strict farm biosecurity guideline and slaughter of infected pigs, strict import regulation (border and movement control of live pigs) and heavy penalty to illegal import of live pigs. Based on this result, it may contribute to bring consumers' and relevant stakeholders' awareness to reduce high risk through early detection of ASFV at the slaughterhouses and markets by risk assessment approach. Further studies on risk management and risk communication to complete the risk analysis of ASFV in pork are highly recommended.