SAFOSO, as leader of ASFORCE theme 5 “Training and knowledge transfer” organized, during 2013, three training workshops for veterinarians. The first workshop was provided in Madrid, April 14-16, and it was hosted by the “Universidad Complutense de Madrid”; the second was offered in the Russian Federation, June 17-19, hosted by the “State Research Institution National Research Institute for Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of Russia” (VNIIVViM) and the last one happened in Bulgaria, September 9-11, and the host institution was the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency.



The main goal of these workshops was to provide training for veterinarians to increase risk awareness and capacity of incident response. In more detail, by the end of the workshops the attending veterinarians were expected to achieve the following learning objectives:

  1. to be able to recognize a possible ASF case;
  2. to understand transmission routes and pathogenesis of ASF;
  3. to be familiar with ASF spread risk factors;
  4. to be aware of the global epidemiological current situation, with particular focus on the European one, and on the recent outbreaks in Eastern Europe;
  5. to have a general understanding of how the laboratory diagnosis is performed and to be able to interpret laboratory results;
  6. to have a clear idea of the risk of failing to control an ASF outbreak and its economic impact.



The program of the workshops followed a common template. In the three workshops, local speakers (i.e., from Spain, Bulgaria and Russia) and others from different  consortium   partners contributed to the training modules.

 Topics covered included:

  • Historical aspects of ASF. The ASFORCE project: what is it? And why is it important?
  • ASF aetiology, pathogenesis, pig protective immune mechanisms and vaccine development
  • How does ASF look like?
  • ASF Epidemiology
    • Epidemiology of ASF and economic impact in different scenarios
    • The role of the wild boar on ASF epidemiology
    • The ASF situation in Sardinia
  • If I see a suspected case, which samples should I take? And what happens to the samples when they get into the lab
  • ASF bio security: personal, farm and laboratory levels. Control. General rules
  • An ASF outbreak: what has to be done

Participants also had the opportunity to watch and comment two videos about ASF. Discussion was always stimulated, with several round table discussions.


Knowledge assessment

A knowledge assessment test was given to the participants before and after the workshop. The results improved significantly. At the end, participants were kindly asked to answer a feedback survey, and the vast majority of them stated that they felt better prepared to diagnose and handle a potential ASF outbreak after the workshop, and that the training had been useful to increase their professional networks, something to be used in the future.

Additional information about the workshops can be found using the following hyperlinks