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The disease



Susceptible species


Only species of the pig family (Suidae) are susceptible to infection with ASF virus. Domestic pigs are highly susceptible to ASF, which shows no breed, age or sex preference. Certain populations of pigs of local races in Central Africa demonstrate a higher than expected survival rate during ASF outbreaks. A high proportion of the pigs in these populations are serologically positive for ASF and apparently healthy. This suggests that these pigs, which are derived from pigs introduced into Africa some 400-500 years ago, probably from the Iberian Peninsula, may have a degree of genetic resistance to the virus.

All wild African suids are susceptible to infection with the virus, but do not all develop clinical disease. Warthogs are the major host for ASF virus. Bushpigs (Potamochoerus porcus and P. larvatus) and giant forest hog (Hylochoerus meinertzhageni) have been found to be infected with ASF virus, but the extent of infection and their role in the epidemiology of the disease are unknown.

Elsewhere, European wild boar (Sus scrofa) are fully susceptible to ASF, with a mortality rate similar to that of domestic pigs. Feral pigs in the American region, probably partially derived from European wild boar, have been shown to be highly susceptible to experimental infection, as have farmed descendants of European wild boar and domestic pigs in South Africa. The susceptibility of other wild suids in areas where ASF does not occur has not been investigated with the exception of the collared peccary (Tayassu tajaccu), which proved completely resistant.

Human beings are not susceptible to ASF.