CMU hosts seminar on “CSF and ASF: Present situation, diagnosis, and control”

The University Research Office, Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, and Alumni Relations and Linkages Office (ARLO) in coordination with the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA) R10 organized a seminar focusing on the prevention and control of Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and the African Swine Fever (ASF) at the Farmer’s Training Center, Central Mindanao University, on December 12.

More than a hundred participated in the said event including some of the faculty and students from the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, respectively. This year it was dubbed as “CSF and ASF: Present situation, diagnosis, and control,” which was part of the quarterly Research Seminar Series of the University.

Dr. Jose Alexander Abella, VPAA, in his opening remarks, said that this seminar is very timely as CSF and ASF have already caused great calamity to the Philippine swine industry.

CSF, also known as Hog Cholera, is a serious and fatal disease of swine caused by the classical swine fever virus. Pigs are considered as natural hosts of the virus and are the only animals in which the disease is known to occur naturally. The virus from infected pigs can be transmitted in various forms, from vehicles carrying infected pigs, farm attendants, veterinarians, down to contaminated clothing and footwear. Feeding waste food to pigs, especially in the backyard farm, is also one common way for the virus to
spread. Not all infected carriers will show the signs of the disease. However, they will permanently shed the virus.

OIE World experts on Classical Swine Fever (CSF) and other swine diseases including the dreaded African Swine Fever (ASF) from China Institute of Veterinary Drug Control/Center for Veterinary Drug Evaluation in Beijing China namely: Wang Qin, Zou Xingqi, Zhang Qianyi, generously shared their expertise and experiences during the seminar.

The experts discussed the current situation of CSF in China and their strict monitoring program, not just CSF but including any animal diseases. Dr. Qianyi discussed the diagnosis of CSF and ASF and presented tips on how to prevent these diseases. Dr. Xingqi presented on the updates and current researches on CSF and ASF, including the new vaccine that they developed for CSF.

Further, Dr. Wang Qin introduced their IVDC laboratory, which is the first and second largest laboratory for CSF in the world. She shared their mission of eliminating and eradicating CSF and in contributing to the prevention of CSF worldwide.

Moreover, Dr. Jupiter Casas, Director of Research, in his closing remarks, aspired for another worthwhile university research seminar series and emphasized the importance

of academic sharing of knowledge and experiences from the experts to the students, faculty, and other future researchers.

Future Collaborations on CSF Research

Meanwhile, Dr. Alan P. Dargantes, Vice President for Research Development and Extension (VPRDE), disclosed that this visit forged the future collaborations with the world experts from China on CSF and CMU. It will be institutionalized once both parties will sign the Memorandum of Agreement.

Dr. Dargantes, who is also the project leader of the Classical Swine Fever (CSF) Surveillance in Mindanao, discussed the importance of this collaboration in their recent study and in strengthening the swine industry in Mindanao.

In an interview with Dr. Alan P. Dargantes, he said that according to the result of their study which started last July 2017 and ended this May 2019, the people in Mindanao shows lack of knowledge, attitude, and practices (KAP) when it comes to the disease despite it being an endemic disease in the island. Accordingly, the disease is highly contagious and fatal and may cause significant economic losses in terms of high mortality, slow growth rate, and poor reproductive performance among infected pigs.

“But that’s part of the challenge now of the government, and of course we are part of the government,” says Dr. Dargantes. With that being said, the government and its counterpart need to improve on the Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices, especially in raising both backyard and commercial swine production. It was also emphasized during the interview on the importance of regular monitoring and vaccination to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Out of the 6 Regions in Mindanao, 5 were part of their study sites, namely: Region IX, Region X, Region XII, and Region XIII, excluding the ARMM. With the result of the project, Dr. Dargantes hopes to eradicate the disease as it will pave the way for the possibility of the country to export hog products. (ACDoña & IADalipe-Neri)

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