ISSN : 2287-8327
Background: In South Korea, African swine fever virus (ASFV) has spread among wild boars through Gangwon-do to Dangyang-gun, Chungcheongbuk-do on the southern border of Gangwon-do. To prevent the spread of ASFV to African swine fever (ASF)-free areas, it is necessary to identify areas with a high probability of finding ASFV-infected carcasses and to reduce the density of wild boars in those areas. In this study, we described the propagation trend of ASFV among wild boars, constructed the habitat suitability maps for ASFV-infected carcasses, and suggested areas with a high probability of finding ASFV- infected carcasses and an important route of ASFV transmission. Results: Despite the active quarantine policies in Korea to prevent the spread of ASFV through wild boars, there was no significant difference in the monthly average of number of ASFV-infected carcasses observed between 2020 and 2021. The ASFV-infected carcasses were found more in winter and spring (January to April). Since the first ASF outbreak in wild boars on October 2, 2019, the maximum width of ASFV-infected carcass distribution area was 222.7 km for about 26 months till November 20, 2021. The habitat suitability map, based on GPS coordinates of ASFV-infected wild boar carcasses, shows that highly detectable areas of ASFV-infected carcasses were sporadically dispersed in western and southwestern parts of Gangwon-do, and ranged from north to south of the province along the Baekdudaegan Mountains, whereas poorly detectable areas ranged along the north to the south in the middle parts of the province. Conclusions: Our suitability model, based on the GPS coordinates of ASFV-infected carcasses, identifies potential habitats where ASFV-infected carcasses are likely to be found and ponential routes where ASFV is likely to spread. Among ASF-free areas, the areas with high suitability predicted in this study should be given priority as survey areas to find ASFV- infected carcasses and hunting areas to reduce wild boar populations.