Location: Tick and Biting Fly Research
Project Number: 3094-32000-039-44
Start Date: Jan 15, 2014
End Date: Mar 17, 2017
This project will strategically and systematically determine the most efficient method of surveillance to mitigate the risk for the emergence and establishment of ASFV in wild pig/soft tick populations. The first step involves a survey of parasitic arthropods (insects and ticks) associated with wild boar and feral pigs and an assessment of their infection status for ASFV. We will then determine which of the soft ticks and other arthropods parasitizing wild boar and feral pigs are competent vectors of ASFV by conducting transmission studies in the laboratory. The predicted distribution of wild boar and feral pigs and the suspect ASFV vectors will be generated using global information systems, spatial analysis, and niche modeling. This predicted distribution will provide a prioritized list of locations for field sampling of wild pigs (animals captured for the purpose and hunted animals) and suspect arthropod vectors. A systematic sampling scheme of priority areas will be conducted to validate the spatial model as a predictive tool that can be used accurately for risk assessment and decision making. This work will be completed by leading Ukrainian specialists in collaboration with USDA investigators. It is expected that the international community will benefit from the evidence-based data generated by this project, which will support ASFV surveillance systems and epizootic risk analysis for ASF control. A. SUMMARY. Year #1 Task 1. Surveillance of ticks in the natural habitat of feral swine in Ukraine. 1.1 Assessing the presence of soft ticks in Ukraine. 1.2. Screening of soft ticks for possible ASF virus presence. Year #2 Task 2. Surveillance of hunted feral swine in the regions adjacent to the ASF affected regions of Russia. 2.1 Assessing tick parasitism of wild boar and feral swine in the Ukraine.