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Evaluation of the Presence of ASFV in Wolf Feces Collected from Areas in Poland with ASFV Persistence

Department of Vertebrate Ecology and Zoology, Faculty of Biology, University of Gdańsk, Wita Stwosza 59, 80-308 Gdańsk, Poland
Department of Recombinant Vaccines, Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, University of Gdańsk, Abrahama 58, 80-307 Gdańsk, Poland
Department of Ecology, Institute of Functional Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Biology, Biological and Chemical Research Centre, University of Warsaw, Żwirki i Wigury 101, 02-089 Warszawa, Poland
Masurian Centre for Biodiversity, Research and Education, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Urwitałt 1, 11-730 Mikołajki, Poland
Roztocze National Park, Plażowa 2, 22-470 Zwierzyniec, Poland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Equal contribution.
Academic Editors: Magdalena Materniak-Kornas and Jacek Kuźmak
Viruses 2021, 13(10), 2062;
Received: 27 August 2021 / Revised: 4 October 2021 / Accepted: 8 October 2021 / Published: 14 October 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Animal Virus Research in Poland)
African swine fever (ASF), caused by a DNA virus (ASFV) belonging to genus Asfivirus of the Asfarviridae family, is one of the most threatening diseases of suids. During last few years, it has spread among populations of wild boars and pigs in countries of Eastern and Central Europe, causing huge economical losses. While local ASF occurrence is positively correlated with wild boar density, ecology of this species (social structure, movement behavior) constrains long-range disease transmission. Thus, it has been speculated that carnivores known for high daily movement and long-range dispersal ability, such as the wolf (Canis lupus), may be indirect ASFV vectors. To test this, we analyzed 62 wolf fecal samples for the presence of ASFV DNA, collected mostly in parts of Poland declared as ASF zones. This dataset included 20 samples confirmed to contain wild boar remains, 13 of which were collected near places where GPS-collared wolves fed on dead wild boars. All analyzed fecal samples were ASFV-negative. On the other hand, eight out of nine wild boar carcasses that were fed on by telemetrically studied wolves were positive. Thus, our results suggest that when wolves consume meat of ASFV-positive wild boars, the virus does not survive the passage through intestinal tract. Additionally, wolves may limit ASFV transmission by removing infectious carrion. We speculate that in areas where telemetric studies on large carnivores are performed, data from GPS collars could be used to enhance efficiency of carcass search, which is one of the main preventive measures to constrain ASF spread. View Full-Text
Keywords: ASF; gray wolf; wild boar; virus transmission ASF; gray wolf; wild boar; virus transmission
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MDPI and ACS Style

Szewczyk, M.; Łepek, K.; Nowak, S.; Witek, M.; Bajcarczyk, A.; Kurek, K.; Stachyra, P.; Mysłajek, R.W.; Szewczyk, B. Evaluation of the Presence of ASFV in Wolf Feces Collected from Areas in Poland with ASFV Persistence. Viruses 2021, 13, 2062.

AMA Style

Szewczyk M, Łepek K, Nowak S, Witek M, Bajcarczyk A, Kurek K, Stachyra P, Mysłajek RW, Szewczyk B. Evaluation of the Presence of ASFV in Wolf Feces Collected from Areas in Poland with ASFV Persistence. Viruses. 2021; 13(10):2062.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Szewczyk, Maciej, Krzysztof Łepek, Sabina Nowak, Małgorzata Witek, Anna Bajcarczyk, Korneliusz Kurek, Przemysław Stachyra, Robert W. Mysłajek, and Bogusław Szewczyk. 2021. "Evaluation of the Presence of ASFV in Wolf Feces Collected from Areas in Poland with ASFV Persistence" Viruses 13, no. 10: 2062.

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