Science has officially confirmed that African swine fever (ASF) can spread through artificial insemination (AI). The controlled study involved AI using the semen of infected boars. Funded by the Pork Checkoff, the facility in Germany used four boars and 14 gilts.
With the highest biosecurity precautions, including a unique technique preventing semen from coming into contact with the environment, the researchers confirmed that the ASF virus was in the boars’ semen just two days after infection. After breeding the 14 gilts with the infected semen, seven were infected with ASF within one week, and all 14 were infected within two weeks. Interestingly, the researchers report that the ASF held no adverse impact on semen quality until day 14 – a concerning conclusion that could fuel fast-paced infection among herds.
Overall, the study confirms that biosecurity and early detection among boars particularly is crucial for stopping the spread of the virus.
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