African swine fever (ASF) has become a major threat to the pig industry. Prevention is the key to controlling the disease. Any measures applied must be comprehensive and must not omit any transmission route. Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition has introduced a new product that addresses the risk of transmission through feed.
Preventing ASF: mind the gap
The spread of the ASF virus poses a serious challenge to pig producers: an outbreak of the disease could result in major losses. So far, cases have been reported in 35 countries on five continents, and they are steadily increasing. Transmission occurs in a variety of manners, through infected animals, facilities and equipment, production workers and swill feeding, among others. And there is the possibility of transmission via the feed: the virus can survive in some animal feed types for up to 30 days and can be transmitted via mash and pelleted compound feed as well as certain feed additives. This constitutes a gap in the existing biosecurity measures that needs to be closed. The latest phytogenic innovation from Dr. Eckel Animal Nutrition has been developed specifically for this purpose. This is Anta®Shield.
High effectiveness due to synergetic effect
Anta®Shield is based on highly effective phytogenics. It contains bioactive ingredients from plants that have been cultivated for thousands of years for the very purpose of protecting food from pathogens. Vice President Dr Bernhard Eckel explains how the development of the new product came about: “We at Dr. Eckel have decades of experience with phytogenic active ingredients. Their antibacterial effect has been proven time and again. However, the hypothesis that they could also have antiviral properties is still relatively new. When developing Anta®Shield, we focused on plant substances that destabilise the biomembranes of gram-positive bacteria. Our trials suggest that these substances may also affect the envelope glycoproteins of the ASF virus.”
Each of the tested plant extracts showed greater efficacy than the organic acid treatment in the comparison group. However, the best effect was achieved with a specific combination of various extracts. “It is only the synergetic effect of the selected active ingredients that produces the optimal result,” states Bernhard Eckel. Anta®Shield was born.
Inactivation after only three days
For the trials, which were conducted in a special laboratory in Vietnam, pig feed was infected with the active virus. PCR assays were used to determine the viral load after one, three and seven days. After three days, virtually no viral DNA could be detected. Moreover, cell culture tests showed that the virus’ infectivity in the samples treated with Anta®Shield was reduced by a hundredfold after a mere 24 hours. In practical terms, this translates into a significant reduction in the risk of infection through feed. The product has since been registered with the European Patent Office as a complex for reducing the concentration of the ASF virus in animal feed.
Protecting feed naturally
Dr. Eckel’s Anta®Shield is based 100% on natural ingredients and is highly effective, even at low dosages. Its highly active plant substances have been proven to be effective against the ASF virus in feed. “Anta®Shield helps farmers better protect their animal feed,” concludes Bernhard Eckel, “and this is essential to preventing ASF.”