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Could wild boar be the Trans-Siberian transmitter of African swine fever?
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  • Fekede Joka,
  • HaoNing Wang,
  • Hein van Gils,
  • Wang Xiaolong
Fekede Joka
Northeast Forestry University
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HaoNing Wang
Harbin University
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Hein van Gils
Northeast Forestry University
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Wang Xiaolong
Northeast Forestry University
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Abstract

African swine fever (ASF) free China has experienced a sudden multi-focal and multi-round of outbreaks during 2018. The subsequent epidemiological survey resulted in a debate including the possibility of a transboundary spread from European Russia to China through wild boar. We contribute to the debate by assessing a potential Trans-Siberian transmission path and its associated ASF arrival dates. Least Cost Paths (LCPs) between Eastern Europe and NE China were plotted. The arrival dates of ASF-infected wild boar have been predicted by cumulative maximum transmission distances per season and cover with their associated minimum time intervals along the LCPs. Our results show high costs for wild boar to cross Xinjiang, NW China and/or Mongolia to reach NE China. Instead, the Paths lead almost straight eastward along the 59.5° Northern latitude through Siberia and would have taken a minimum of 219 or 260 days.