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Research Project: Genetic Characterization of African Swine Fever Virus Causing Disease Outbreaks in Asia and Africa

Location: Foreign Animal Disease Research

Project Number: 3022-32000-063-012-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2019
End Date: Dec 31, 2023

This collaborative research project focuses on the genetic characterization, by full-length genome sequencing, of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) field isolates causing disease outbreaks in swine under epidemiologically relevant and different disease scenarios. By using this approach, it is expected to obtain information regarding location of virus genetic determinants of virulence, as well as an understanding of the bases of virus evolution.

I. Conduct a retrospective risk analysis of African Swine Fever (ASF) from available records; a retrospective study. For achieving this subobjective we will pursue the following aims: a) Collect and assess available ASF survey, surveillance and outbreak data; b) assess existing data on domestic pig, wild suid and feral swine populations distribution; and c) genetically characterize (full- genome sequencing) of available ASFV isolates that have been collected from well documented outbreaks of the disease. The purpose of aim (a) is to identify critical data regarding ASF presence in a particular country. Combining available retrospective ASF surveillance and outbreak data with new data on ASF outbreaks it will be possible produce basic ASF epidemic and endemic risk maps. Genetic characterization of available pre-existing isolates may provide additional information about patterns of ASFV genetic variability in different geographic areas. II. Detection of ASFV emerging during disease outbreaks: a) collect relevant clinical samples (blood, serum and tissues) from pigs (n=10 to 25 animals) exposed to ASFV outbreaks (50 outbreaks during a period of 3 years) to detect virus presence (qPCR, PCR, and ELISA); b) generate preliminary genomes; and c) genetically characterize (full-genome sequencing) viruses detected in those outbreaks.