Emergence of African swine fever virus, northwestern Iran.
ABSTRACT: In 2008, African swine fever was introduced into Georgia, after which it spread to neighboring Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation. That same year, PCR and sequence analysis identified African swine fever virus in samples from 3 dead female wild boars in northwestern Iran. Wild boars may serve as a reservoir.
Project description:African swine fever is widespread in Africa but has occasionally been introduced into other continents. In June 2007, African swine fever was isolated in the Caucasus Region of the Republic of Georgia and subsequently in neighboring countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and 9 states of the Russian Federation). Previous data for sequencing of 3 genes indicated that the Georgia 2007/1 isolate is closely related to isolates of genotype II, which has been identified in Mozambique, Madagascar, and Zambia. We report the complete genomic coding sequence of the Georgia 2007/1 isolate and comparison with other isolates. A genome sequence of 189,344 bp encoding 166 open reading frames (ORFs) was obtained. Phylogeny based on concatenated sequences of 125 conserved ORFs showed that this isolate clustered most closely with the Mkuzi 1979 isolate. Some ORFs clustered differently, suggesting that recombination may have occurred. Results provide a baseline for monitoring genomic changes in this virus.
Project description:African swine fever is an acute hemorrhagic disease of pigs. Extensive recent spread in the Russian Federation and Eastern Europe has increased the risk to global pig production. The virus is a large DNA virus and is the only member of the Asfarviridae family. In pigs, the virus replicates predominantly in macrophages. We review how the virus overcomes the barriers to replication in the macrophage and the virus mechanism to inhibit key host defense pathways.
Project description:In September 2018, African swine fever in wild boars was detected in Belgium. We used African swine fever-infected spleen samples to perform a phylogenetic analysis of the virus. The causative strain belongs to genotype II, and its closest relatives are viruses previously isolated in Ukraine, Belarus, Estonia, and European Russia.
Project description:We analyzed the whole-genome sequence of African swine fever virus Belgium 2018/1. The strain fits into the European genotype II (>99.98% identity). The high-coverage sequence revealed 15 differences compared with an improved African swine fever virus Georgia 2007/1 sequence. However, in the absence of genetic markers, no spatial or temporal correlations could be defined.
Project description:OBJECTIVE: To assess accessibility and affordability of health care in eight countries of the former Soviet Union. DATA SOURCES/STUDY SETTING: Primary data collection conducted in 2010 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, and Ukraine. STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional household survey using multistage stratified random sampling. DATA COLLECTION/EXTRACTION METHODS: Data were collected using standardized questionnaires with subjects aged 18+ on demographic, socioeconomic, and health care access characteristics. Descriptive and multivariate regression analyses were used. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Almost half of respondents who had a health problem in the previous month which they viewed as needing care had not sought care. Respondents significantly less likely to seek care included those living in Armenia, Georgia, or Ukraine, in rural areas, aged 35-49, with a poor household economic situation, and high alcohol consumption. Cost was most often cited as the reason for not seeking health care. Most respondents who did obtain care made out-of-pocket payments, with median amounts varying from $13 in Belarus to $100 in Azerbaijan. CONCLUSIONS: Access to health care and within-country inequalities appear to have improved over the past decade. However, considerable problems remain, including out-of-pocket payments and unaffordability despite efforts to improve financial protection.
Project description:African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the etiological agent of a contagious and often lethal disease of domestic pigs that has significant economic consequences for the swine industry. The disease is devastating the swine industry in Central Europe and East Asia, with current outbreaks caused by circulating strains of ASFV derived from the 2007 Georgia isolate (ASFV-G), a genotype II ASFV. In the absence of any available vaccines, African swine fever (ASF) outbreak containment relies on the control and culling of infected animals. Limited cross-protection studies suggest that in order to ensure a vaccine is effective, it must be derived from the current outbreak strain or at the very least from an isolate with the same genotype. Here, we report the discovery that the deletion of a previously uncharacterized gene, I177L, from the highly virulent ASFV-G produces complete virus attenuation in swine. Animals inoculated intramuscularly with the virus lacking the I177L gene, ASFV-G-?I177L, at a dose range of 102 to 106 50% hemadsorbing doses (HAD50), remained clinically normal during the 28-day observational period. All ASFV-G-?I177L-infected animals had low viremia titers, showed no virus shedding, and developed a strong virus-specific antibody response; importantly, they were protected when challenged with the virulent parental strain ASFV-G. ASFV-G-?I177L is one of the few experimental vaccine candidate virus strains reported to be able to induce protection against the ASFV Georgia isolate, and it is the first vaccine capable of inducing sterile immunity against the current ASFV strain responsible for recent outbreaks.IMPORTANCE Currently, there is no commercially available vaccine against African swine fever. Outbreaks of this disease are devastating the swine industry from Central Europe to East Asia, and they are being caused by circulating strains of African swine fever virus derived from the Georgia 2007 isolate. Here, we report the discovery of a previously uncharacterized virus gene, which when deleted completely attenuates the Georgia isolate. Importantly, animals infected with this genetically modified virus were protected from developing ASF after challenge with the virulent parental virus. Interestingly, ASFV-G-?I177L confers protection even at low doses (102 HAD50) and remains completely attenuated when inoculated at high doses (106 HAD50), demonstrating its potential as a safe vaccine candidate. At medium or higher doses (104 HAD50), sterile immunity is achieved. Therefore, ASFV-G-?I177L is a novel efficacious experimental ASF vaccine protecting pigs from the epidemiologically relevant ASFV Georgia isolate.
Project description:African swine fever (ASF) is a contagious, notifiable viral disease, which is considered a significant threat not only for European, but also for worldwide pork production, since recently the virus emerged within numerous Chinese pig herds. The disease was introduced in Poland in 2014 and up to the end of 2018, 213 outbreaks in pigs and 3347 cases in wild boars have been reported. The presented study describes the whole genome sequencing of seven Polish isolates, collected between 2016 and 2017, using next generation sequencing (NGS) technology. The complete, genomic sequences of these isolates were compared against five other closely related ASFV genomes, annotated in the NCBI database. The obtained sequences were from 189.393 to 189.405?bp long and encoded 187-190 open reading frames (ORFs). The isolates were grouped within genotype II and showed 99.941 to 99.956% nucleotide identity to the Georgia 2007/1 reference strain.
Project description:African swine fever causes substantial economic losses in the swine industry in affected countries. Traditionally confined to Africa with only occasional incursions into other regions, ASF began spreading into Caucasian countries and Eastern Europe in 2007, followed by Western Europe and Asia in 2018. Such a dramatic change in the global epidemiology of ASF has resulted in concerns that the disease may continue to spread into disease-free regions such as the US. In this study, we estimated the risk of introduction of ASF virus into the US through smuggling of pork in air passenger luggage. Results suggest that the mean risk of ASFV introduction into the US via this route has increased by 183.33% from the risk estimated before the disease had spread into Western Europe or Asia. Most of the risk (67.68%) was associated with flights originating from China and Hong Kong, followed by the Russian Federation (26.92%). Five US airports accounted for >90% of the risk. Results here will help to inform decisions related to the design of ASF virus surveillance strategies in the US.
Project description:Armenia, situated between the Black and Caspian Seas, lies at the junction of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and former Mesopotamia. This geographic position made it a potential contact zone between Eastern and Western civilizations. In this investigation, we assess Y-chromosomal diversity in four geographically distinct populations that represent the extent of historical Armenia. We find a striking prominence of haplogroups previously implicated with the Agricultural Revolution in the Near East, including the J2a-M410-, R1b1b1(*)-L23-, G2a-P15- and J1-M267-derived lineages. Given that the Last Glacial Maximum event in the Armenian plateau occured a few millennia before the Neolithic era, we envision a scenario in which its repopulation was achieved mainly by the arrival of farmers from the Fertile Crescent temporally coincident with the initial inception of farming in Greece. However, we detect very restricted genetic affinities with Europe that suggest any later cultural diffusions from Armenia to Europe were not associated with substantial amounts of paternal gene flow, despite the presence of closely related Indo-European languages in both Armenia and Southeast Europe.
Project description:African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a highly pathogenic, double-stranded DNA virus with a marked tropism for cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage, affecting swine species and provoking severe economic losses and health threats. In the present study, four established porcine cell lines, IPAM-WT, IPAM-CD163, C?2+ and WSL, were compared to porcine alveolar macrophage (PAM) in terms of surface marker phenotype, susceptibility to ASFV infection and virus production. The virulent ASFV Armenia/07, E70 or the naturally attenuated NHV/P68 strains were used as viral models. Cells expressed only low levels of specific receptors linked to the monocyte/macrophage lineage, with low levels of infection overall, with the exception of WSL, which showed more efficient production of strain NHV/P68 but not of strains E70 and Armenia/07.