African Swine Fever virus (ASFv), if introduced into the U.S. across the southern border by domestic or wildlife animal movements, or by human traffic could be complicated if a tick-susceptible host interaction known as the sylvatic cycle of disease transmission establishes a permanent reservoir of ASFv disease in Texas.
This study builds upon prior research focused on the historical occurrence of Ornithodoros spp. ticks as well as previously published predictive models (Donaldson et al., 2016; Sage et al., 2017; Wormington et al., 2019; Golnar et al., 2019) to identify at-risk locations throughout Texas for the establishment of ASFv in wildlife through contact with competent Ornithodoros spp. tick vectors. The locations of such Ornithodoros spp. ticks have not been documented extensively in Texas to date in relation to existing feral swine, commercial swine, or warthog population locations. This study seeks to create a surveillance system focusing on specific locations to consistently evaluate the sylvatic tick-swine transmission cycle potential.
This study complements efforts to interdict at-risk materials entering the US and potentially strengthens the US border protection infrastructure by evaluating other locations along the border not undergoing inspections for risk potential. By identifying locations for future surveillance system development where animals and people may enter the US through non-traditional locations in South Texas pasture locations along the Rio Grande, this DHS-supported program will help ensure rapid detection of any new threat or incursion of the ASFv.
|Project Lead||Texas A&M AgriLife Research|
|Research Team||Co-PI: Dee Ellis, DVM, Texas A&M AgriLife Research|
Co-PI: Meriam Saleh, Ph.D. Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
|Duration||May 2022 – May 2024|