The Source of African Swine Fever Virus in China Investigated


The emergence of African swine fever in China represents a potential threat to the entire Nation’s industry considered to be the largest in the world.  Molecular characterization of a pathogen can provide evidence of the source of infection and accordingly scientists at the China Animal Health Epidemiology Center in Qingdao undertook an evaluation of the virus. 


The isolate was obtained from dead pigs on a farm in the Shenbei district of Shenyang, Liaoning Province.  Genotype identification based on the p72 gene revealed that the China 2018/1 virus belongs to genotype II.  Serologic typing was undertaken applying  hemabsorption inhibition assay confirming that the virus is classified as a sero-group 8 strain.


Based on the p72 genotpye II and 100 percent p72 sequence homology with strains from Eastern Europe and Africa, it was concluded that the virus was introduced in all probability from Eastern Europe although the specific mode of introduction has yet to be defined.


*Ge, S. et al Molecular Characterization of African Swine Fever Virus China, 2018 Emerging Infectious Diseases. 24: 2131-2132 (2018)