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Progress in Understanding the Molecular Biology of ASF Virus


Scientists affiliated with the Wuhan Academy of Sciences and the African Swine Fever Regional Laboratory of China1 have successfully conducted a phylogenetic analysis of African swine fever virus prevalent in China.  The technique of analyzing alleles based on gene-by-gene assay of metagenomic sequences facilitated rapid assay without culturing the virus.  The approach based on allele assay facilitates the development of clinical diagnostic tests and to identify potential vaccine candidates.


The emergence of African swine fever has intensified molecular characterization of isolates.  A research group in Poland2 sequenced African swine fever virus from field isolates in 2018 following introduction of the infection into the nation in 2014 resulting 213 outbreaks.


Knowledge of the molecular biology of African swine fever virus will be critical to developing an effective and safe vaccine since a non-pathogenic live-virus gene-deleted candidate that is strongly antigenic will be required for field application.


1.Xiong, D. et al Rapid phylogenetic analysis of African swine fever virus from metagenomic sequences bioRev September 5, 2019


2.Mazur-Panasiuk, Natalia et al The first completed genomic sequences of African swine fever virus isolated in Poland Scientific Reports 9: Article 4556 (2019)

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane