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


Date of this Version



Brown, V.R., J.B. Lenoch, and C.F. Bowden. 2023. African swine fever. pgs 198-213. In: D.A. Jessup and R.W. Radcliffe, editors. Wildlife disease and health in conservation. John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland. 468 pp.


U.S. government work


At the time of writing this chapter, a global pandemic of African swine fever (ASF) is ongoing with the virus having moved from Eastern Europe, Asia, and into the Caribbean—leaving swine production in devastation along the way. Due to the global spread of African swine fever virus (ASFV), the persistence of the virus, and the increasing number of endemic countries, this disease poses an imminent threat of introduction into North America and other countries that are currently ASF free. Throughout the chapter, we reference Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa) which are charismatic megafauna that are native to Europe and Asia. Wild boar were introduced into numerous areas in the southeastern United States and California by early settlers and they subsequently augmented and hybridized with established feral domestic swine (Sus scrofa) to give rise to contemporary populations of feral swine, a highly invasive species that are present across much of the United States. Feral swine are referred to by various terms, including wild hogs, feral pigs, wild boar, wild swine, razorbacks, and other regional names in North America. African swine fever has never been introduced into the United States; as such, we do not discuss feral swine in specific within the chapter. However, experimental inoculations demonstrate that feral swine are acutely susceptible to ASFV and given its current rapid global movement we anticipate similar patterns of exposure, infection, and risk amongst these populations.