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Classical Swine Fever


Hog Cholera, pig plague


  • Virus ; Positive Stranded ssRNA Virus; Family Flaviviridae ; Genus Pestivirus
  • Notifiable disease : Yes
  • Preventive treatment : Vaccines are available. In EU countries which are free of disease, or where eradication is in progress, vaccination is normally prohibited.
  • Curative treatment : None


Classical Swine FeverClassical swine fever (CSF), also known as hog cholera, is a contagious viral disease of pigs. The disease is classified as a notifiable disease by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The causative virus is a member of the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae, and is closely related to the viruses of bovine viral diarrhoea and Border disease. The virus resists well in cold conditions and can survive some forms of meat processing (curing and smoking).


CSF clinical signs are variable from acute, subacute, chronic, late onset, or inapparent forms, depending on a variety of viral and host factors (animal age, strain virulence, time of infection). ThePPC_rate splenomegalique severity of the disease varies with the viral strain. Highly virulent strains correlate with acute, obvious disease and high mortality, including neurological symptoms and hemorrhages within the skin. The morbidity and mortality rates are high during acute infections, and the case fatality rate can approach 100%. Morbidity and mortality are lower in subacute disease. Chronic infections are always fatal, but may affect only a few animals in a herd.


The disease has been eradicated from domestic pigs in most of EU countries but is still present in some wild boar populations (Latvia), maintaining the risk of re-emergence associated with serious consequences for trade in pigs and pig products in case of outbreaks. The disease is still present in much of Asia, Central and South America, and parts of Africa.PPC_ganglion submand hemorrhagique

Risk factors :

  • Direct contact between animals (secretions, excretions, semen, blood)
  • Spread by farm visitors, veterinarians, pig traders
  • Indirect contact through premises, implements, vehicles, clothes, instruments and needles
  • Illegal feeding pigs with poor cooked kitchen leftovers
  • Transplacentaire infection

Clinical signs :

- Living animal : pyrexia, inappetance, dullness, weakness, conjunctivitis, constipation followed by diarrhoea, cyanosis of the skin (ears, abdomen and inner thighs)
PPC_rein petechies - Postmortem : The lymph nodes are swollen and marbled red. Haemorrhages on serosal and mucosal membranes of the intestinal organs. Spleenic infarctions. Petechia on kidneys. Necrotic or ‘button' ulcers in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract, epiglottis and larynx.



CODA-CERVA is the Belgian national Reference Laboratory for classical swine fever.

CODA-CERVA participes annually to interlaboratory test organised by the European reference laboratory, as well as those organized by the French reference laboratory.

CODA-CERVA organize annually interlaboratory test for the serological detection (ELISA) of classical swine fever.


- Direct

  • Virological diagnosis by virus isolation from tonsils and blood samples
  • Virological molecular diagnosis by Real-Time RT-PCR (from tonsils, lymph nodes, milt and blood samples)

- Indirect

  • Serological diagnosis by antibody ELISA and virus neutralisation

- Antibody ELISA kit controle



Marylène Tignon



Marylène Tignon
Ann Brigitte Cay




- Haegeman A, Vrancken R, Neyts J, Koenen F. Intra-host variation structure of classical swine fever virus NS5B in relation to antiviral therapy. Antiviral Res., 2013, 98(2): 266-72.

- Renson P, Le Dimna M, Keranflech A, Cariolet R, Koenen F, Le Potier MF. CP7_E2alf oral vaccination confers partial protection against early classical swine fever virus challenge and interferes with pathogeny-related cytokine responses. Vet Res., 2013, 44(1): 9.

- Eblé PL, Geurts Y, Quak S, Moonen-Leusen HW, Blome S, Hofmann MA, Koenen F,
Beer M, Loeffen WL. Efficacy of chimeric Pestivirus vaccine candidates against
classical swine fever: protection and DIVA characteristics. Vet Microbiol., 2013, 162(2-4): 437-46.



- Schroeder S, von Rosen T, Blome S, Loeffen W, Haegeman A, Koenen F, Uttenthal A. Evaluation of classical swine fever virus antibody detection assays with an emphasis on the differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals. Rev Sci Tech., 2012, 31(3): 997-1010.

- Rangelova D, Nielsen J, Strandbygaard B, Koenen F, Blome S, Uttenthal A. Efficacy of marker vaccine candidate CP7_E2alf in piglets with maternally derived C-strain antibodies. Vaccine, 2012, 30(45): 6376-81.

- Gabriel C, Blome S, Urniza A, Juanola S, Koenen F, Beer M. Towards licensing of CP7_E2alf as marker vaccine against classical swine fever-Duration of immunity. Vaccine, 2012, 30(19): 2928-36.

- Blome S, Aebischer A, Lange E, Hofmann M, Leifer I, Loeffen W, Koenen F, Beer M. Comparative evaluation of live marker vaccine candidates "CP7_E2alf" and "flc11" along with C-strain "Riems" after oral vaccination. Vet Microbiol., 2012, 158(1-2): 42-59.



- Hoffmann B, Blome S, Bonilauri P, Fernández-Piñero J, Greiser-Wilke I, Haegeman A, Isaksson M, Koenen F, LeBlanc N, Leifer I, Le Potier MF, Loeffen W, Rasmussen TB, Stadejek T, Ståhl K, Tignon M, Uttenthal A, van der Poel W, Beer M. Classical swine fever virus detection: results of a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction ring trial conducted in the framework of the European network of excellence for epizootic disease diagnosis and control. J Vet Diagn Invest., 2011, 23(5): 999-1004.


- Tignon M, Kulcsár G, Haegeman A, Barna T, Fábián K, Lévai R, Van der Stede Y, Farsang A, Vrancken R, Belák K, Koenen F. Classical swine fever: Comparison of oronasal immunisation with CP7E2alf marker and C-strain vaccines in domestic pigs. Vet Microbiol., 2010,142(1-2):59-68.

- Van Vaerenbergh B, Koenen F., Pauwels K., Quanten K., Boyen F., De Clercq K., Desmecht D, Thiry J., Herman P. Methology of the biological risk classification of animal pathogens in Belgium. Rev sci tech OIE, 2010,29(3),513-22


- Kramer M., Staubach C., Koenen F., Haegeman A., Pol F, Le Potier M.-F., Greiser-Wilke. EFSA scientific report on Classical Swine Fever. 2009, 1-92

- Vrancken R, Haegeman A, Dewulf J, Paeshuyse J, Puerstinger G, Tignon M, Le Potier MF, Neyts J, Koenen F. The reduction of CSFV transmission to untreated pigs by the pestivirus inhibitor BPIP: A proof of concept. Vet Microbiol. 2009, 139(3-4),365-68

- Vrancken R., Haegeman A., Paeshuyse J., Puerstinger G., Rozenski J., Wright M., Tignon M., Le Potier M-F., Neyts J., Koenen F. Proof of concept for the reduction of classical swine fever infection in pigs by a novel viral polymerase inhibitor J Gen virol, 2009,90,1335-1342.

- Ribbens S., DeWulf J., Koenen F., Mintiens K., de Kruif A., Maes D. Type and frequency of contacts between Belgian pig herds. Prev. Vet. Med., 2009, 88(1),57-66.



- Belák K, Koenen F, Vanderhallen H, Mittelholzer C, Feliziani F, De Mia GM, Belák S. Comparative studies on the pathogenicity and tissue distribution of three virulence variants of classical swine fever virus, two field isolates and one vaccine strain, with special regard to immunohistochemical investigations. Acta Vet Scand. 2008 Sep 5;50:34.

- Vrancken R, Paeshuyse J, Haegeman A, Puerstinger G, Froeyen M, Herdewijn P, Kerkhofs P, Neyts J, Koenen F. Imidazo[4,5-c]pyridines inhibit the in vitro replication of the classical swine fever virus and target the viral polymerase. Antiviral Res. 2008 Feb;77(2):114-9.

- Le Dimna M, Vrancken R, Koenen F, Bougeard S, Mesplède A, Hutet E, Kuntz-Simon G, Le Potier MF. Validation of two commercial real-time RT-PCR kits for rapid and specific diagnosis of classical swine fever virus. J Virol Methods. 2008 Jan;147(1):136-42.



- Koenen F, Uttenthal A, Meindl-Böhmer A. Real-time laboratory exercises to test contingency plans for classical swine fever: experiences from two national laboratories. Rev Sci Tech. 2007 Dec;26(3):629-38.

- Ribbens S, Dewulf J, Koenen F, Maes D, de Kruif A. Evidence of indirect transmission of classical swine fever virus through contacts with people. Vet Rec. 2007 May 19;160(20):687-90.



- Haegeman A, Dewulf J, Vrancken R, Tignon M, Ribbens S, Koenen F. Characterisation of the discrepancy between PCR and virus isolation in relation to classical swine fever virus detection. J Virol Methods. 2006 Sep;136(1-2):44-50.



- Dewulf J, Koenen F, Ribbens S, Haegeman A, Laevens H, De Kruif A. Evaluation of the epidemiological importance of classical swine fever infected, E2 sub-unit marker vaccinated animals with RT-nPCR positive blood samples. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health. 2005 Nov;52(9):367-71.

- Mintiens K, Verloo D, Venot E, Laevens H, Dufey J, Dewulf J, Boelaert F, Kerkhofs P, Koenen F. Estimating the probability of freedom of classical swine fever virus of the East-Belgium wild-boar population. Prev Vet Med. 2005 Sep 12;70(3-4):211-22.



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