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Risk analysis of the potential introduction of African swine fever virus into Thailand by pig products from Italy, 2015 (qualitative risk assessment)




Dejyong, Tosapol, author
Salman, Mo D., advisor
Rao, Sangeeta, advisor
Hadrich, Joleen, committee member
Wongsathapornchai, Kachen, committee member

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African swine fever (ASF) is a serious contagious pig disease that produces a wide range of clinical signs and lesions. ASF virus (ASFV), the causative agent for ASF, can spread very rapidly. Fortunately, ASF has never been reported in Thailand. The National Institute for Animal Health (NIAH), Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has done an ASF survey and reported zero sero-prevalence. Thailand, however, has imported live pigs and pig products from many countries; most notably in 2015 approximately 4 million kilograms were imported from Italy where ASF outbreaks occurred on the island of Sardinia, Italy during the same year. Since ASF is exotic to Thailand and likely to be introduced into the country, risk analysis can be a tool for estimating the likelihood of an introduction and consequences of the disease, and for revealing any gaps and preparing preventive measures. This study is divided into three sub-studies: assessing risk of ASFV introduction into Thailand by importing pig products from Italy in 2015 – development of an approach, estimation of risks of ASFV introduction into Thailand by importing pig products from Italy, 2015, and qualitative risk assessment of ASFV introduction into Thailand by importing pig products from an endemic country based on different hypothetical scenarios. Also, risk analysis of ASFV of this study should be considered as a model for DLD to improve strategy and policy for preventing new emerging and reemerging diseases. The first step in the process was the development of the conceptual framework of risk analysis composed by generating a general risk pathway and risk question, identifying a hazard, developing a physical pathway and scenario trees, assessing the risk, mitigating the risk, and communicating the risk based on OIE risk analysis for imports. Also, eight possible routes of ASFV introduction were generated by utilizing information from DLD and from scientific publications. Using these routes and the OIE animal disease reporting system and DLD trading database, the specific risk question was generated: "What is the risk of introducing ASFV into Thailand by importing pig products from Italy in 2015?" The second step in the process was analysis of risks according to the risk question and specific pathway based on DLD official documents, the OIE WAHIS database, EU commission decision, EU legislation, EU council directive, exportation and importation requirements and government guidelines, scientific literature, and expert opinions. The potential introduction of ASFV by importing pig products from Italy in 2015 was identified as a hazard to Thailand in the hazard identification step. However, the risk of introduction was deemed "Negligible" by qualitative risk assessment. Risk mitigation giving recommendations to minimize the risk based on weak points identified for the high or moderate likelihood of introduction and significant consequences, and also effective means of communicating the risk, was provided. The third step in the process was qualitative risk assessment in different hypothetical risk mitigation scenarios whereby four scenarios were developed to show how the mitigations would change the risk based on the assumption that the virus was in the products. The first scenario was a worst-case scenario, the second was reducing risk at release assessment, the third was reducing risk at exposure assessment and the fourth was reducing risk at consequence assessment. Based on initial information from the qualitative risk assessment and the descriptive partial budget, the second scenario would provide the most efficiencies risk mitigation. Even though there are limitations, this study is a good fundamental project to reveal gaps to the country and stakeholders. Therefore, the lesson learned from this project is that DLD should improve laboratory technique to screen the disease in the products at border, collaboration among stakeholders in government, promote an increase in the sizes of farm and develop surveillance system of emerging diseases. All are critically necessary to decrease a risk to achieve the best way to prevent the introduction of ASFV and other emerging/reemerging diseases into Thailand. Moreover, improving the approaches of DLD officers in risk analysis and integrating and performing risk analysis to support DLD's strategy and missions would work best for regional and international certification in risk analysis.


2016 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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African swine fever
risk analysis
pig products
risk assessment


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