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Research Project: Countermeasures to Control and Eradicate Foreign Animal Diseases of Swine

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Title: Development and in vivo evaluation of a recombinant African swine fever strain Georgia with a deletion in the MGF110-1L gene

item RAMIREZ-MEDINA, ELIZABETH - University Of Connecticut
item VUONO, ELIZABETH - University Of Mississippi
item RAI, AYUSHI - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Pruitt, Sarah
item SILVA, EDIANE - University Of Kansas
item Espinoza, Nallely
item VELAZQUEZ-SALINAS, LAURO - University Of Kansas
item Zhu, James
item Borca, Manuel
item Gladue, Douglas

Submitted to: Viruses
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/8/2021
Publication Date: 2/12/2021
Citation: Ramirez-Medina, E., Vuono, E., Rai, A., Pruitt, S.E., Silva, E., Espinoza, N.N., Velazquez-Salinas, L., Zhu, J.J., Borca, M.V., Gladue, D.P. 2021. Development and in vivo evaluation of a recombinant African swine fever strain Georgia with a deletion in the MGF110-1L gene. Viruses.

Interpretive Summary: African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes a devastating disease in swine, called African swine fever (ASF), that is currently spreading across Europe and Asia. There is no available vaccine for ASF, and currently only experimental live attenuated vaccines are derived from deletions of individual genes in the ASFV genome. In this study we a delete a gene in ASFV, that that has never been deleted before and did not alter the pathogenesis of ASFV. We identified two cellular proteins that bind this gene giving insight into how ASFV interacts with cells.

Technical Abstract: The African swine fever (ASF) pandemic is currently affecting pigs throughout Eurasia, resulting in significant swine production losses. The causative agent, ASF virus (ASFV), is a large, structurally complex virus with a genome encoding more than 160 genes. The function of most of those genes remain unknown. Here we present the previously uncharacterized ASFV gene I8L, the first gene in the genome. Kinetic studies of virus RNA transcription demonstrated that the MGF110-1L gene is transcribed as a late virus protein. Determining if MGF110-1L is essential to virus replication was evaluated by developing a recombinant ASFV lacking the gene (ASFV-G-'MGF110-1L ). In primary swine macrophage cell cultures ASFV-G-'MGF110-1L showed similar replication kinetics as the parental highly virulent field isolate Georgia2007 (ASFV-G). Domestic pigs experimentally infected with ASFV-G-'MGF110-1L presented with a clinical disease indistinguishable from that caused by ASFV-G, demonstrating that MGF360-1L is not involved in virulence in swine, the natural host of ASFV.