Evaluation of Oral Bait Vaccine Efficacy Against Classical Swine Fever in Village Backyard Pig Farms in Bhutan

Monger, V.R.; Stegeman, J.A.; Dukpa, K.; Gurung, R.B.; Loeffen, W.L.A.


Control and eradication of classical swine fever (CSF) in countries with a high proportion of backyard holdings is a challenge. Conventional attenuated Chinese C-strain vaccines, though safe and effective, are difficult to use in backyard farms due to various practical reasons. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the CSF oral bait vaccine in village backyard pig farms and to assess the farmers' knowledge on CSF and motivation on using oral vaccines. The pigs were fed the bait by the farmers themselves; one bait was given on day 0, followed by second bait on the next day. Seventy-three per cent (140 of 193 pigs) of vaccinated pigs had either a slight (2-fold-3-fold; 60 pigs) or significant (at least 4-fold; 80 pigs) increase of the antibody titre against CSFV. A significant increase of the antibody titres was mainly observed in pigs with no pre-vaccination titre (OR = 12, 95% CI = 4-40). The number of pigs with protective antibody titres (≥40) rose from 47 (24%) to 115 (60%) following vaccination. Only 30% of the farmers claimed to be familiar with CSF, although clinical signs they mentioned were rather unspecific and could relate to many other pig diseases. Most of the farmers claimed to be motivated to use oral vaccines if made available. The oral vaccine could be a substitute for the conventional attenuated CSF vaccines in areas where it is logistically difficult for veterinarians to visit. It may therefore be a useful tool to combat endemic CSF disease in regions where the disease continues to have a serious impact on the backyard farmers who depend on pig farming for their sustenance and livelihoods.