Classical swine fever (CSF) represents a continuous threat to pig populations that are free of disease without vaccination. When CSF virus is introduced, the minimal control strategy imposed by the EU is often insufficient to mitigate the epidemic. Additional measures such as preemptive culling encounter ethical objections, whereas emergency vaccination leads to prolonged export restrictions. Antiviral agents, however, provide instantaneous protection without inducing an antibody response. The use of antiviral agents to contain CSF epidemics is studied with a model describing within- and between-herd virus transmission. Epidemics are simulated in a densely populated livestock area in The Netherlands, with farms of varying sizes and pig types (finishers, piglets and sows). Our results show that vaccination and/or antiviral treatment in a 2 km radius around an infected herd is more effective than preemptive culling in a 1 km radius. However, the instantaneous but temporary protection provided by antiviral treatment is slightly less effective than the delayed but long-lasting protection offered by vaccination. Therefore, the most effective control strategy is to vaccinate animals when allowed (finishers and piglets) and to treat with antiviral agents when vaccination is prohibited (sows). As independent control measure, antiviral treatment in a 1 km radius presents an elevated risk of epidemics running out of control. A 2 km control radius largely eliminates this risk.
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