Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1080/22221751.2022.2146537
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) African swine fever virus – variants on the rise
Author Forth, J.H.; Calvelage, S.; Fischer, M.; Hellert, J.; Sehl-Ewert, J.; Roszyk, H.; Deutschmann, P.; Reichold, A.; Lange, M.; Thulke, H.-H. ORCID logo ; Sauter-Louis, C.; Höper, D.; Mandyhra, S.; Sapachova, M.; Beer, M.; Blome, S.
Source Titel Emerging Microbes & Infections
Year 2023
Department OESA
Volume 12
Issue 1
Page From art. 2146537
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords highlight; African swine fever virus; genomic epidemiology; variants; whole-genome sequencing; epidemiological modelling
Abstract African swine fever virus (ASFV), a large and complex DNA-virus circulating between soft ticks and indigenous suids in sub-Saharan Africa, has made its way into swine populations from Europe to Asia. This virus, causing a severe haemorrhagic disease (African swine fever) with very high lethality rates in wild boar and domestic pigs, has demonstrated a remarkably high genetic stability for over 10 years. Consequently, analyses into virus evolution and molecular epidemiology often struggled to provide the genetic basis to trace outbreaks while few resources have been dedicated to genomic surveillance on whole-genome level. During its recent incursion into Germany in 2020, ASFV has unexpectedly diverged into five clearly distinguishable linages with at least ten different variants characterized by high-impact mutations never identified before. Noticeably, all new variants share a frameshift mutation in the 3’ end of the DNA polymerase PolX gene O174L, suggesting a causative role as possible mutator gene. Although epidemiological modelling supported the influence of increased mutation rates, it remains unknown how fast virus evolution might progress under these circumstances. Moreover, a tailored Sanger sequencing approach allowed us, for the first time, to trace variants with genomic epidemiology to regional clusters. In conclusion, our findings suggest that this new factor has the potential to dramatically influence the course of the ASFV pandemic with unknown outcome. Therefore, our work highlights the importance of genomic surveillance of ASFV on whole-genome level, the need for high-quality sequences and calls for a closer monitoring of future phenotypic changes of ASFV.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Forth, J.H., Calvelage, S., Fischer, M., Hellert, J., Sehl-Ewert, J., Roszyk, H., Deutschmann, P., Reichold, A., Lange, M., Thulke, H.-H., Sauter-Louis, C., Höper, D., Mandyhra, S., Sapachova, M., Beer, M., Blome, S. (2023):
African swine fever virus – variants on the rise
Emerg. Microbes Infect. 12 (1), art. 2146537 10.1080/22221751.2022.2146537