Epidemiology and Infection

Isolation of a non-haemadsorbing, non-cytopathic strain of African swine fever virus in Madagascar

M.  GONZAGUE  a1, F.  ROGER  a2, A.  BASTOS  a3 a4, C.  BURGER  a1, T.  RANDRIAMPARANY  a5, S.  SMONDACK  a1 and C.  CRUCIERE  a1 c1
a1 AFSSA-Lerpaz, 22, rue Pierre Curie, BP67, 94703 Maisons-Alfort Cedex, France
a2 CIRAD-EMVT, TA 30/G, Campus International de Baillarguet, 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5, France
a3 ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Private Bag X5, Onderstepoort 0110, South Africa
a4 Department of Zoology & Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria 0002, South Africa
a5 Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, BP 1274, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar


African swine fever (ASF) suspected clinically in Madagascar (1998–9) was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nucleotide sequencing, following virus isolation. No haemadsorption or cytopathic effect could be detected following leukocyte inoculation, but viral growth in cells was confirmed by PCR. Detection of ASF virus genome was carried out by amplification of a highly conserved region coding for the p72 protein. Nucleotide sequencing of the amplicon revealed 99·2% nucleotide identity between the recent Malagasy strains and a virus recovered from the 1994 outbreak in Mozambique (SPEC265). A serological survey performed on 449 sera, revealed that only 5·3% of the sera taken from pigs between 1998 and 1999 were positive.

(Accepted November 15 2000)

c1 Author for correspondence.