USDA Adds Blood Swabs and Spots as Official ASF Testing Tissues

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) learned the USDA has approved blood swabs and spots as samples for official African swine fever (ASF) testing during foreign animal disease (FAD) investigations. These are an important addition to antemortem samples previously approved since August 2018; the full list of approved samples includes whole blood, tonsil, spleen, lymph node, spleen swabs, blood swabs and blood spots. While important additions, more work needs to be done to fully integrate blood swabs and blood spots into the ASF/CSF active surveillance program as well as the ASF Red Book. The process is ongoing. SHIC will continue to monitor developments and share progress with stakeholders interested in ASF testing protocols.

Per the USDA, NAHLN laboratories and state animal health officials have been notified that blood swabs and spots have been added as official ASF testing tissues. The Department is following up to get controlled copy protocols in place. Collaborative work continues to get the details and gaps identified and addressed.

SHIC, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, continues to focus efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response to novel and emerging swine disease for the benefit of US swine health. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. SHIC is funded by America’s pork producers to fulfill its mission to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd. For more information, visit http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Sundberg at psundberg@swinehealth.org.