A Cartographic Tool for Managing African Swine Fever in Eurasia: Mapping Wild Boar Distribution Based on the Quality of Available Habitats.Transbound Emerg Dis 2017; 64(6):1720-1733TE
The current African swine fever (ASF) epidemic in Eurasia represents a risk for the swine industry with devastating socio-economic and political consequences. Wild boar appears to be a key factor in maintaining the disease in endemic areas (mainly the Russian Federation) and spreading the disease across borders, including within the European Union. To help predict and interpret the dynamics of ASF infection, we developed a standardized distribution map based on global land cover vegetation (GLOBCOVER) that quantifies the quality of available habitats (QAH) for wild boar across Eurasia as an indirect index for quantifying numbers of wild boar. QAHs were estimated using a seven-level scale based on expert opinion and found to correlate closely with georeferenced presence of wild boar (n = 22 362): the highest wild boar densities (74.47%) were found in areas at the two highest QAH levels, while the lowest densities (5.66%) were found in areas at the lowest QAH levels. Mapping notifications from 2007 to 2016 onto the QAH map showed that in endemic areas, 60% of ASF notifications occurred in domestic pigs, mostly in agricultural landscapes (QAHs 1.75 and 1) containing low-biosecurity domestic pig farms. In the EU, in contrast, 95% of ASF notifications occurred in wild boar, within natural landscapes (QAH 2). These results suggest that the QAH map can be a useful epi-tool for defining risk scenarios and identifying potential travel corridors for ASF. This tool will help inform resource allocation decisions and improve prevention, control and surveillance of ASF and potentially of other diseases affecting swine and wild boar in Eurasia.