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