African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes a high-consequence foreign animal disease that has emerged along international trade routes. Owing to high lethality and resulting trade sanctions, establishment of this disease in the United States would have devastating economic consequences. ASFV can be transmitted by soft ticks in the genus Ornithodoros or directly between swine, including domestic, feral, and wild swine. Consequently, the spatial risk of ASFV establishment depends on where susceptible animals, with or without competent vectors, co-occur. We synthesized county-level historical records of soft tick occurrence, current maps of feral swine distribution, and domestic swine inventory to evaluate the risk of ASFV establishment and spillover in the United States. Areas of California, Florida, and much of the southwestern United States were classified as high risk for ASFV establishment and spillover should an introduction event occur. Our analyses indicate that California, Texas, Georgia, and Florida are high-priority candidates for proactive risk reduction strategies. Domestic swine are often produced in high-biosecurity environments, mitigating health risks associated with contacting infected hosts and vectors. However, small-scale and organic pig producers in much of the southern United States remain more vulnerable to disease emergence.
- Sus Scrofa