Hematological and serum biochemical profiles of a natural African swine fever virus infection in pigs


African swine fever
Biochemical analysis
Hematological analysis

How to Cite

Okafor, S. C., Okafor, U. C. ., Obinwogu, D. L., & Ihedioha, J. I. (2023). Hematological and serum biochemical profiles of a natural African swine fever virus infection in pigs. Veterinaria Italiana, 58(3). https://doi.org/10.12834/VetIt.2295.15822.2


African swine fever (ASF) is a contagious viral disease that affects pigs of all ages, inducing hemorrhagic fever with high mortality and severe threat to pig production. This study investigated the hematological and serum biochemical abnormalities associated with a natural ASF infection in pigs. A total of 100 serum samples of pigs from piggery suspected of ASFV infection were screened for antibodies by ELISA. Thirty‑two blood samples from serologically positive pigs and 32 negative pigs were undergo to hematological and serum biochemical analyses following standard procedures. The results showed that the mean values of the red blood cell (RBC) count, total white blood cell (TWBC) count, absolute lymphocyte count, absolute monocyte count, serum total protein (TP) and globulin were significantly (p < 0.05) lower while the mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), absolute neutrophil count and serum gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in the infected than the healthy pigs. There were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in the mean values of the packed cell volume (PCV), hemoglobin concentration, absolute eosinophil count, cholesterol, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activities between the infected and healthy pigs. Hence, natural ASFV infection may have caused alterations in the hematological and serum biochemical parameters in the infected pigs. The generated data could complement the existing laboratory diagnostic techniques such as polymerase chain reaction, direct fluorescence antibody test, indirect fluorescent antibody test and ELISA in the diagnosis of ASF in pigs.




Afayoa M., Atuhaire D.K., Ochwo S., Okuni J.B., Kisekka M., Olaho-Mukani W. & Ojok L. 2014. Hematological, biochemical and clinical changes in domestic pigs experimentally infected with African swine fever virus isolates from Uganda. Bull Anim Hlth Prod Afr, 62, 7-22.

Alonso C., Borca M., Dixon L., Revilla Y., Rodriguez F. & Escribano J.M. 2018. Ictv Report Consortium. ICTV virus taxonomy profile: Asfarviridae. J Gen Virol, 99, 613-614.

Awekew A., Fetene B. & Eshetu E. 2017. Review on Serum Biochemical Changes in Ruminants Infected with Major Trypanosome Species. Intl J Adv Res in Biol Sci, 4(10), 26-35.

Beltran-Alcrudo D., Arias M., Gallardo C., Kramer S. & Penrith M.L. 2017. African swine fever: detection and diagnosis – A manual for veterinarians. FAO Animal Production and Health Manual. Rome, FAO, 19, 1-2.

Blome S., Gabriel C. & Beer M. 2013. Pathogenesis of African swine fever in domestic pigs and European wild boar. Virus Res, 173, 122–130.

Dee S.A., Bauermann F.V., Niederwerder M.C., Singrey A., Clement T. & de Lima M. 2018. Survival of viral pathogens in animal feed ingredients under transboundary shipping models. PLoS One, 13, e0194509.

Dixon L.K., Alonso C., Escribano J.M., Martins C., Revilla Y. & Salas M.L. 2011. Asfarviridae. In Virus taxonomy: ninth report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (King A., Lefkowitz E., Adams M.J., Carstens E.B., eds). Oxford, Elsevier, 153–162.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). 2013. Food Outlook Biannual Report on Global Food Markets. FAO, Rome.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). 2019. Food Outlook - Biannual Report on Global Food Market. Food and Agricultural Organization, Rome.

Gallardo C., Okoth E., Pelayo V., Anchuelo R., Martin E., Simon A., Llorente A., Nieto R., Soler A., Martin R., Arias M. & Bishop R.P. 2011. African swine fever viruses with two different genotypes, both of which occur in domestic pigs, are associated with ticks and adult warthogs, respectively, at a single geographical site. J Gen Virol, 92, 432-444.

Gomez-Villamandos J.C., Carrasco L., Bautista M.J., Sierra M.A., Quezada M., Hervas J., Chaconmde L., Romanini S., Nunez A., Mekonan T., Mendez A. & Jova A. 2003. African swine fever and Classical swine fever, a review of the pathogenesis. DTW, 110, 165 – 169.

Gomez-Villamandos J.C., Hervas J., Mendez A., Carrasco L., Martin del las Mulas J., Villeda C.J., Wilkinson P.J. & Sierra M.A. 1995. Experimental African swine fever: apoptosis of lymphocytes and virus replication in other cells. J Gen Virol, 76, 2399 – 2405.

Higgins T., Beutler E. & Doumas B.T. 2008. Measurement of hemoglobin in blood. In Teitz Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry (Burtis C.A, Ashwood E.R. and Bruns D.E., eds). 6th ed. Missouri, Saunders Elsevier, 514-515.

Kasper D.L, Fauci A.S., Hauser S.L., Longo D.L. & Larry Jameson J. 2018. Harrison’s principles of internal medicine 20th ed. New York.

Kliegman R.M. & St. Geme J. 2019. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. London, UK, Elsevier Health Sciences.

Mason J.E., Starke R.D. & Van Kirk J.E. 2010. Gamma glutamyl transferase: a novel cardiovascular risk biomarker. Prev Cardiol, 13, 36-41.

Naeim F., Rao P.N., Song S.X. & Phan R.T. 2018. Granulocytic disorders. In Atlas of Hematopathology. Academic Press, 2nd ed. Elsevier, 871-884.

Nwoha R.I.O., Eze I.O. & Anene B.M. 2013. Serum biochemical and liver enzymes changes in dogs with single and conjunct experimental infections of Trypanosoma brucei and Ancylostoma caninum. Afr J Biotech, 12 (6), 618-624.

Office International des Epizooties (OIE). 2016. Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals. African swine fever. Paris, France, Office International des Epizooties.

Ramiro-Ibanez F., Escribano J.M. & Alonso C. 1995. Application of monoclonal antibody recognizing protein p30 to detect African swine fever virus infected cells in peripheral blood. J Virol Methods, 55 (3), 339 – 345.

Sanchez-Torres C., Gomez-Puertas P., Gomez-del-Moral M., Alonso F., Escribano J.M., Ezquerra A. & Dominquez J. 2003. Expression of porcine CD163 on monocytes/macrophages correlates with permissiveness to African swine fever infection. Arch Virol, 148, 2307–2323.

Sanchez-Vizcaino J.M., Mur L., Gomez-Villamandos J.C. & Carrasco L. 2015. An update on the epidemiology and pathology of African swine fever. J Comp Pathol, 152(1), 9-21.

Sanders E.G., Quintas A., Perez-Nunez D., Nogal M. & Barroso S. 2012. African swine fever virus uses micropinocytosis to enter host cells. PLos Pathog, 8(6), 002754.

Territo M. 2019. Lymphocytopenia. Merck Manual Professional Version. Kenilworth, NJ, Merck & Co.

Thrall M.A. & Weiser M.G. 2002. Hematology. In Laboratory Procedures for Veterinary Technicians (Hendrix C.M., ed). 4th ed. Mosby Inc., Missouri, 29-74.

Copyright (c) 2023 Simeon Chibuko Okafor, Uju Catherine Okafor, Donatus Lotanna Obinwogu, John Ikechukwu Ihedioha