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Classical swine fever virus survival in meat products and diagnostics samples - SE4006

Classical swine fever (CSF) is a highly infectious disease of swine, outbreaks of which have severe economic consequences. Identifying the risks that certain activities, such as importation of meat from non-CSF free countries, have for introducing the disease is an important weapon in the strategy to deal with this threat, as are efficient methods for early detection of disease.

Main Objectives
This research aims to examine the survival of the classical swine fever virus, in products that are a potential source of introduction of this disease into the UK, at different temperatures, and to examine the potential level of contamination that may be present in such products. The research also aims to identify the level of challenge virus that may be present in meat from animals that have been vaccinated with live attenuated vaccine and which are subsequently exposed to virus, to enable assessment of the risk that vaccinated animals may pose if allowed to enter the domestic food chain. The level of virus required to cause an infection, if ingested by a susceptible animal, will also be investigated. Effective laboratory diagnosis of CSF, using viral isolation methods, requires the viral agent to remain viable. PCR based detection methods require the viral RNA to remain intact. The final objective of this proposal is to examine the effect of temperature variations on virus viability and RNA stability in diagnostic samples to provide information for the development of procedures for sample transport and storage.

Policy relevance
The primary benefit of this work will be to develop more efficient markets (Defra objective 4) and the dissemination of the knowledge gained will ultimately reduce suffering of animals (Defra Objective 8). A reduction in disease losses caused by this virus will ensure reasonably priced pork and beef (Defra Objective 10), which will directly assist the farming industry. This will also indirectly benefit the consumer by providing meat produced to a verifiable standard.This research also addresses one of Defra’s key aims for 2003-2006; the Science Directorate “Science and Innovation strategy for 2003-2006” states a requirement to identify and control risk factors associated with exotic diseases.

Intended use of results
Data accruing from this project, its interpretation and relevance, will be placed in the public domain via scientific publications and presentations at scientific meetings. The data will also be used within existing and new risk assessments, in order to provide Defra with peer-reviewed evidence on which to base policy decisions with respect to international trade and illegal imports.
Objective 1
To determine the thermal inactivation curves of classical swine fever in meat products at temperatures at which meat legally imported from countries with a risk of swine fever is treated.
Objective 2
To investigate the viral loads of classical swine fever in tissues which are included in meat products.
Objective 3
To investigate the viral load in tissues used in meat products in vaccinated and challenged animals.
Objective 4
To determine the oral ID50 of classical swine fever virus.
Objective 5
To investigate the effect of temperature of diagnostic samples on virus and viral RNA survival.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Classical Swine Fever Virus survival in meat products and diagnostic samples   (356k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2010

Cost: £234,062
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Veterinary Laboratories Agency
Animal Diseases              
Animal Health              
Classical Swine Fever              
Plants and Animals              
Fields of Study
Animal Health