Lab tests Meghalaya pig samples positive for African Swine Fever

GUWAHATI: The North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory here has confirmed on preliminary screening that nine samples of pigs from three districts of Meghalaya have tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).

“Nine samples of pigs from Meghalaya – four from East Khasi Hills, three from West Jaintia Hills and two from Ri-Bhoi district have tested positive for ASF on preliminary screening. The samples were yesterday sent to the National Institute of High Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD), Bhopal, for further confirmation,” Dr Pradip Gogoi, deputy director (in-charge) of Animal Health Centre of the laboratory told The Shillong Times here on Wednesday.

Once NIHSAD confirms the positive test result for ASF, Meghalaya will be third state after Assam and Arunachal Pradesh where pigs have tested positive for the virus. Over 17,000 pigs have so far died of ASF in Assam alone.

Reportedly, 15 pigs were found dead in Lamin village in Jaintia Hills district earlier this month following which the samples were collected and sent to the laboratory at Khanapara here for tests.

The laboratory received the samples of the pigs on Sunday and subsequently, the tests were conducted for detection of viral DNA of ASF by PCR (polymerase chain reaction).

“The preliminary test reports are made so that the disease can be promptly contained in the areas from where the samples have been sent,” Dr Gogoi said.

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