Overview of Classical Swine Fever Virus
Classical swine fever (CSF) is a highly contagious and often fatal viral disease of swine. The causative agent is Classical swine fever virus (CSFV), a positive, single-stranded, enveloped RNA virus approximately 12.3 kb in length belonging to the genus Pestivirus within the Flaviviridae family. Infected pigs develop fever, hemorrhages, lethargy, yellowish diarrhea, vomiting, and a purple skin discoloration of the ears, lower abdomen, and legs. Neurologic signs, reproductive failures, and abortion may also be observed. Diagnostic tests for CSFV detection include RT-qPCR, virus isolation, immunofluorescence assay, and detection of antibodies by serologic tests such as ELISA and virus neutralization. There are no treatments for CSFV. Instead, vaccination against CSFV is used to prevent the disease and is usually applied in regions of the world where CSF is endemic. Countries considered free of the disease do not apply vaccination (eg, USA, Canada, and Europe).