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Vet. Res.
Volume 31, Number 1, January-February 2000
Page(s) 155 - 156
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2000) 155-156
Vet. Res. 31 (2000) 155-156

Current epizootiological status of the Eastern European countries for Aujeszky's disease

I. Medveczky

University of Veterinary Science, Budapest, 1143 Budapest, Hungaria Kt. 23-25

Abstract - In recent years, several comprehensive reviews have been published on the results of Aujeszky's disease (AD) control in the Western European countries. The epizootiological data concerning Aujeszky's disease in the Eastern European (EE) countries are summarised for the first time. A questionnaire was drawn up according to uniform criteria and sent to the Chief Veterinary Authorities of the following countries, requesting experts of the given special field to participate in completing the questionnaire: Albania, Byelorussia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonian Republic, Moldavia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Ukraine. Three main topics appeared in the questionnaire: (1) distribution of the pig population and structure of the farms; (2) current status and achievements of Aujeszky's disease control; (3) status of the national Aujeszky's disease eradication programme. The distribution of the pig population in the EE has been mapped by country on the basis of the pig densities. In the Eastern European countries the majority (in average 70-80%) of the pig holdings are farrowing and finishing farms. Aujeszky's disease belongs to the notifiable diseases in all countries. The number of cases occurring per year is reported to the O.I.E. The principles of Aujeszky's disease control are regulated by decrees issued by the Veterinary Authorities. Countries that have become free from Aujeszky's disease: Czech Republic (free status in 1988) (3 960 139 pigs), Slovenia (in 1996) (600 000 pigs), Republic of Estonia (in 1994) (330 700 pigs) and Latvia (in 1997) (403 540 pigs). Except for Latvia, the use of vaccine is prohibited in these countries. Aujeszky's disease free status is checked on a yearly basis by SNT or by ELISA (in Slovenia 3000-5000 sera/year, in Czech Republic 196 241 sera/1998, in Republic of Estonia all breeding pigs and fattening pigs (sent for slaughter) are examined/ year). Control is based on the use of a gE-deleted vaccine in all countries. In certain countries (e.g. in Poland and Hungary) both locally developed gE deleted vaccine and gE deleted vaccines manufactured by Western European companies are being used, while in other countries (e.g. in Slovak Republic and Bulgaria) exclusively locally developed vaccines are used for vaccination. Vaccination programmes are usually adapted to the epizootiological status of individual farms. Except for Hungary, backyard stocks are not vaccinated. In Hungary the infected backyard stocks are vaccinated three times per year. In Hungary and in Slovak Republic, the Aujeszky's disease eradication is carried out in the framework of a nation-wide eradication programme. In Poland and in Croatia such a nation-wide eradication programme is expected to be launched in the near future. In other countries the conditions are not yet ripe for starting national eradication programmes. We have not received any data from Rumania, Lithuania, Byelorussia and the countries presently situated in a war zone (Yugoslavia, Macedonian Republic). The EE countries are characterised by different levels of Aujeszky's disease control. Some countries have already declared their Aujeszky's disease free status while others are yet in the progress of creating the conditions necessary for eradication. While in the countries bordering Western Europe the principal objective of AD control is eradication of the disease, in the other countries the main goal is to reduce the economic losses caused by AD ("peaceful coexistence" with the virus). The difference between these goals arises mainly from the fact that countries aspiring to join the EU are aware that Aujeszky's disease will soon become a discriminatory factor on the international pig market. The EE countries bordering countries of Western Europe have a good chance of being able to declare their AD-free status by the expected date of their accession to the EU (2002-2004). $In\ memoriam$ We just learnt that Professor Istvan Medevczky quietly passed on November 1999. We would like to honour the memory of Professor Medevczky who was an estimated teacher in the University of Veterinary Science in Budapest and a recognized scientist at the international level. He was in charge to coordinate the Aujeszky's disease programme in Hungary. He participated actively to this symposium where he had the first symptoms of his disease. We present our deepest sympathy to his wife and family.

© INRA, EDP Sciences 2000