Sampling and detection of African swine fever virus within a feed manufacturing and swine production system.
Transmission of biological hazards capable of causing disease in livestock can occur through a wide variety of direct and indirect routes. In swine production, there are a large number of possible routes of exposure of a pathogen into a susceptible population. African swine fever virus (ASFV) has been a significant challenge for Southeast Asia since first detected in China in 2018 and has spread through many countries within the region. In order to understand potential transmission pathways within an ASFV endemic region, a diagnostic investigation was performed to determine the level of contamination on a wide variety of surface types within a live animal production, feed manufacturing, and feed distribution system located in Vietnam. All diagnostic testing was performed locally by the production system's internal diagnostic laboratory using real-time polymerase chain reaction (rt-PCR) analysis. Early in the diagnostic investigation, it became clear that feed trucks were a common site of ASFV surface contamination detection. This information resulted in biosecurity-focused actions for feed trucks arriving back at the feed mill, including decontamination of interior truck cab surfaces and washing of exterior truck surfaces with high-pressure water prior to application of surface disinfectants. Additionally, a low number of rt-PCR positive samples were detected within the feed production system, with the greatest number coming from transient surfaces such as high traffic areas and worker clothing. This illustrates the importance of managing employee traffic through procedures such as zoning and separation between clean-dirty areas to reduce the likelihood of pathogen transmission. In conclusion, this report illustrates the importance of routine data capture regarding efficacy of biosecurity procedures which allows for real-time updates and improvement as biosecurity gaps are identified.