Socio-economic impact of African swine fever outbreak of 2011 and its epidemiology in Isoka District of Zambia
A study was carried out to evaluate the socio-economic impact of African swine fever (ASF) and associated epidemiological factors following the 2011 outbreak in Isoka district of Zambia. One hundred and twenty small holder farmers were interviewed using a structured questionnaire to collect information on the socio-economic impact of the outbreak. Blood samples were also collected from 190 pigs from 65 households in the areas previously affected by the ASF outbreak. Sera were harvested and subjected to antibody blocking Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent assay (b ELISA). Questionnaire survey revealed that the majority of farmers (51.0%) kept pigs for business. A large proportion of the remaining farmers (37.0%) kept pigs for home consumption. Eighty-four percent of the respondents were aware of ASF and 46.7% were directly affected by the 2011 outbreak which resulted into 50.0% reduction in pig population in the surveyed area. This ASF outbreak caused 99.9% mortality of affected pigs. The socio-economic impacts of the disease were in terms of loss of the pigs due to mortalities, loss of business and the cost of disease control. Serological analysis showed that no pig had circulating antibodies against ASF; suggesting that none of the exposed pigs during the outbreak survived. With our findings we can conclude that ASF is still an important transboundary animal disease (TAD) with enormous socio-economic impact that requires concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the enforcement of control and preventive measures.
Key words: African swine fever, socio-economic impact, seroprevalence, Isoka, Zambia