Detection of African swine fever virus (ASFV) antibodies in pigs in Taraba state north east Nigeria
A serological study was conducted between 2011 and 2013 to detect the presence of antibodies to African swine fever virus (ASFV) in Pigs in Taraba State, north eastern Nigeria. Sixty (60) pig farms were studied. Questionnaires (N=885) consisting of sections related to the farmer and the animal were distributed and blood samples taken to analyze for the African swine fever virus antibodies. All the 60 questionnaires were answered by the farmers, while 885 were retrieved for the individual pig studied. Of the 60 famers, only 13 (21.7%) were aware of the disease while 47 (78.3%) were ignorant (P<0.05). Out of the 885 pigs examined, none (0%) was infected nor showed any clinical signs of the infection. However, 117 (13.2%) out of the 885 sera samples analyzed for the three year period were positive for ASFV antibodies. The results obtained in 2013 (22.5%) was significantly higher (P<0.05) those in 2011 (12.9%) and 2012 (4.0%). Although male pigs recorded higher sero-prevalence (13.7%) than the females (12.9%), this was no statistically significant (P>0.05). The highest sero-prevalence (16.3%) was recorded in the Northern zone in 2011, followed by 10.0% and 5.0% in Southern and Central zones respectively. In the year 2012, no ASFV antibody was detected from the 100 and 99 pigs examined from Central and Northern zones respectively. However, the Central zone recorded a sero-prevalence of 12.0%. In 2013, the sero-prevalence in Southern (29.0%) and Central zones (24.0%) is significantly higher (P<0.05) than in the Northern zone. The sero-prevalence obtained may pose a great risk in the study area, it is therefore recommended that adequate veterinary services, proper sanitary measures and monitoring of pig movement be instituted to avert an outbreaks.
Keywords: African swine fever virus, Antibodies, ELISA, Pigs, Taraba State, North eastern Nigeria