U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Transbound Emerg Dis. 2022;69:e3111–e3127. DOI: 10.1111/tbed.14668


This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.


African swine fever virus (ASFv) is a virulent pathogen that threatens domestic swine industries globally and persists in wild boar populations in some countries. Persistence in wild boar can challenge elimination and prevent disease-free status, making it necessary to address wild swine in proactive response plans. In the United States, invasive wild pigs are abundant and found across a wide range of ecological conditions that could drive different epidemiological dynamics among populations. Information on the size of the control areas required to rapidly eliminate the ASFv in wild pigs and how this area should change with management constraints and local ecology is needed to optimize response planning. We developed a spatially explicit disease transmission model contrasting wild pig movement and contact ecology in two ecosystems in Southeastern United States. We simulated ASFv spread and determined the optimal response area (reported as the radius of a circle) for eliminating ASFv rapidly over a range of detection times (when ASFv was detected relative to the true date of introduction), culling capacities (proportion of wild pigs in the culling zone removed weekly) and wild pig densities. Large radii for response areas (14 km) were needed under most conditions but could be shortened with early detection (≤ 8 weeks) and high culling capacities (≥ 15% weekly). Under most conditions, the ASFv was eliminated in less than 22 weeks using optimal control radii, although ecological conditions with high rates of wild pig movement required higher culling capacities (≥ 10% weekly) for elimination within 1 year. The results highlight the importance of adjusting response plans based on local ecology and show that wild pig movement is a better predictor of the optimal response area than the number of ASFv cases early in the outbreak trajectory. Our framework provides a tool for determining optimal control plans in different areas, guiding expectations of response impacts, and planning resources needed for rapid elimination.