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New ILRI report assesses risk of Ebola in Uganda’s pig value chain

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  • New ILRI report assesses risk of Ebola in Uganda’s pig value chain

    New ILRI report assesses risk of Ebola in Uganda’s pig value chain

    Monday 7 July 2014

    Scientists from the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) have published a report of a risk assessment to determine the threat of the deadly Ebola virus in the pig value chain in Uganda.

    Uganda is currently witnessing a rise in demand for pork and this has led to increased pig production in the country, mostly under smallholder production systems.

    These higher pig populations raised under free-range or tethering systems may create overlap of fruit bat habitats where the pigs scavenge for food, thereby presenting a possible risk of Ebola transmission as some bat species have been identified as reservoir hosts of the Ebola virus......

    ......The risk assessment study, based on a systematic review of literature, identified possible routes of transmission of the Ebola virus if pigs are involved, for example, spread between wild and domestic pigs, direct contact between infected pigs and humans, and contact between pigs and fruit bats.

    The study recommends more research on the possible role of pigs in Ebolavirus transmission, an area that is not well understood at the moment.

    “The present data suggest that pigs may act as amplifying hosts, but likely not reservoir hosts. This suggests the conditions under which pigs become infected with Ebolavirus and the role they play in transmission may have many variables that will have to be elucidated,” the report states.

    Further research is underway to investigate the possible role of domestic pigs in the ecology of Ebola virus in Uganda and understand the public health significance of the virus to the pig value chain in this country......
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    raising pigs in fruit bat areas?? really?? Gotta "study" what "might" happen???

    .
    "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

  • #2
    Re: New ILRI report assesses risk of Ebola in Uganda’s pig value chain

    Upon reading more about the piggery business in Uganda, I see where it serves to eliminate rural poverty (especially for women) and obviously provide more protein. Perhaps the answer to this potential conflict between domestic swine production and ebola transmission to/from pigs lies in an ebola vaccine for the pigs. This paper ntroduces that solution:

    Review of Ebola virus infections in domestic animals

    ......development of veterinary vaccines de novo for EBOV might need to be considered, especially if pigs or dogs are implicated in the transmission of an African species of EBOV to humans.

    .
    "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

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