The first genotype II African swine fever virus isolated in Africa provides insight into the current Eurasian pandemic

Local pigs in Tay Nguyen, Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI/Fred Unger)

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African swine fever, caused by the African swine fever virus, is ranked by the World Organisation for Animal Health as the most important source of mortality in domestic pigs globally and is indigenous to African wild suids and soft ticks.

Despite two African swine fever virus genotypes causing economically devastating epidemics outside the continent since 1961, there have been no genome-level analyses of virus evolution in Africa.

The virus was recently transported from southeastern Africa to Georgia in 2007 and has subsequently spread to Russia, eastern Europe, China, and southeast Asia with devastating socioeconomic consequences.

To date, two of the 24 currently described African swine fever virus genotypes defined by sequencing of the p72 gene, namely genotype I and II, have been reported outside Africa, with genotype II being responsible for the ongoing pig pandemic.

Multiple complete genotype II genome sequences have been reported from European, Russian and Chinese virus isolates but no complete genome sequences have yet been reported from Africa.

This study reports the complete genome of a Tanzanian genotype II isolate collected in 2017 and determined using an Illumina short read strategy.

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