Project description:BACKGROUND:African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the etiological agent of African swine fever (ASF), a re-expanding devastating and highly lethal hemorrhagic viral disease. microRNAs (miRNAs) are a new class of small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. The discovery of virus specific miRNAs has increased both in number and importance in the past few years. We have recently described the differential expression of several porcine miRNAs during in vivo infection with attenuated and virulent ASFV strains. Here, we have extended these studies trying to identify the presence of viral miRNAs encoded by ASFV in an in vivo infection in pigs. RESULTS:Sixteen small RNA libraries were analyzed from spleen and submandibular lymph nodes obtained from eight pigs, seven infected with either the virulent E75 ASFV strain or its attenuated counterpart E75CV1, or from pigs surviving E75CV1-infection and challenged with BA71 (heterologous challenge) and one non infected as negative control. Samples were recovered at different times post-infection. Libraries were analyzed by next-generation sequencing. Some viral miRNA candidates were initially identified, which did not correspond to porcine miRNAs. Further structural analyses were carried out in order to confirm if they met the conformational requirements to be considered a viral miRNA. CONCLUSIONS:The analysis of sixteen small RNA libraries prepared from two different tissues obtained from pigs experimentally infected with E75, E75CV1 or with E75CV1 plus BA71, revealed the presence of six potential miRNA sequences but none of them met the requirements to be considered as viral miRNAs. Thus, we can conclude that ASFV does not express miRNAs in vivo, at least under the experimental conditions described here.
Project description:On August 3, 2018, an outbreak of African swine fever in pigs was reported in China. We subjected a virus from an African swine fever-positive pig sample to phylogenetic analysis. This analysis showed that the causative strain belonged to the p72 genotype II and CD2v serogroup 8.
Project description:: African swine fever is a devastating hemorrhagic infectious disease, which affects domestic and wild swines (Sus scrofa) of all breeds and ages, with a high lethality of up to 90-100% in naïve animals. The causative agent, African swine fever virus (ASFV), is a large and complex double-stranded DNA arbovirus which is currently spreading worldwide, with serious socioeconomic consequences. There is no treatment or effective vaccine commercially available, and most of the current research is focused on attenuated viral models, with limited success so far. Thus, new strategies are under investigation. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have proven to be a promising new vaccination platform for veterinary diseases in situations in which conventional approaches have not been completely successful. Here, serum extracellular vesicles from infected pigs using two different ASFV viruses (OURT 88/3 and Benin ?MGF), corresponding to a naturally attenuated virus and a deletion mutant, respectively, were characterized in order to determine possible differences in the content of swine and viral proteins in EV-enriched fractions. Firstly, EVs were characterized by their CD5, CD63, CD81 and CD163 surface expression. Secondly, ASFV proteins were detected on the surface of EVs from ASFV-infected pig serum. Finally, proteomic analysis revealed few specific proteins from ASFV in the EVs, but 942 swine proteins were detected in all EV preparations (negative controls, and OURT 88/3 and Benin ?MGF-infected preparations). However, in samples from OURT 88/3-infected animals, only a small number of proteins were differentially identified compared to control uninfected animals. Fifty-six swine proteins (Group Benin) and seven proteins (Group OURT 88/3) were differentially detected on EVs when compared to the EV control group. Most of these were related to coagulation cascades. The results presented here could contribute to a better understanding of ASFV pathogenesis and immune/protective responses in the host.
Project description:Complete genome sequences of five African swine fever virus isolates were determined directly from clinical material obtained from domestic pigs in Uganda. Four sequences were essentially identical to each other, and all were closely related to the only known genome sequence of p72 genotype IX.
Project description:African swine fever (ASF) is an acute haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs for which there is currently no vaccine. We showed that experimental immunisation of pigs with the non-virulent OURT88/3 genotype I isolate from Portugal followed by the closely related virulent OURT88/1 genotype I isolate could confer protection against challenge with virulent isolates from Africa including the genotype I Benin 97/1 isolate and genotype X Uganda 1965 isolate. This immunisation strategy protected most pigs challenged with either Benin or Uganda from both disease and viraemia. Cross-protection was correlated with the ability of different ASFV isolates to stimulate immune lymphocytes from the OURT88/3 and OURT88/1 immunised pigs.
Project description:African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a macrophage-tropic virus responsible for ASF, a transboundary disease that threatens swine production world-wide. Since there are no vaccines available to control ASF after an outbreak, obtaining an understanding of the virus-host interaction is important for developing new intervention strategies. In this study, a whole transcriptomic RNA-Seq method was used to characterize differentially expressed genes in pigs infected with a low pathogenic ASFV isolate, OUR T88/3 (OURT), or the highly pathogenic Georgia 2007/1 (GRG). After infection, pigs infected with OURT showed no or few clinical signs; whereas, GRG produced clinical signs consistent with acute ASF. RNA-Seq detected the expression of ASFV genes from the whole blood of the GRG, but not the OURT pigs, consistent with the pathotypes of these strains and the replication of GRG in circulating monocytes. Even though GRG and OURT possess different pathogenic properties, there was significant overlap in the most upregulated host genes. A small number of differentially expressed microRNAs were also detected in GRG and OURT pigs. These data confirm previous studies describing the response of macrophages and lymphocytes to ASFV infection, as well as reveal unique gene pathways upregulated in response to infection with GRG.
Project description:The US livestock safety strongly depends on its capacity to prevent the introduction of Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs). Therefore, accurate and updated information on the location and origin of those potential TADs risks is essential, so preventive measures as market restrictions can be put on place. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the current risk of African swine fever (ASF) and Classical swine fever (CSF) introduction into the US through the legal importations of live pigs and swine products using a quantitative approach that could be later applied to other risks. Four quantitative stochastic risk assessment models were developed to estimate the monthly probabilities of ASF and CSF release into the US, and the exposure of susceptible populations (domestic and feral swine) to these introductions at state level. The results suggest a low annual probability of either ASF or CSF introduction into the US, by any of the analyzed pathways (5.5*10-3). Being the probability of introduction through legal imports of live pigs (1.8*10-3 for ASF, and 2.5*10-3 for CSF) higher than the risk of legally imported swine products (8.90*10-4 for ASF, and 1.56*10-3 for CSF). This could be caused due to the low probability of exposure associated with this type of commodity (products). The risk of feral pigs accessing to swine products discarded in landfills was slightly higher than the potential exposure of domestic pigs through swill feeding. The identification of the months at highest risk, the origin of the higher risk imports, and the location of the US states most vulnerable to those introductions (Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin for live swine and California, Florida and Texas for swine products), is valuable information that would help to design prevention, risk-mitigation and early-detection strategies that would help to minimize the catastrophic consequences of potential ASF/CSF introductions into the US.
Project description:African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the causative agent of African swine fever, a highly contagious and usually fatal disease in pigs. The pathogenesis of ASFV infection has not been clearly elucidated. Here, we used single-cell RNA-sequencing technology to survey the transcriptomic landscape of ASFV-infected primary porcine alveolar macrophages. The temporal dynamic analysis of viral genes revealed increased expression of viral transmembrane genes. Molecular characteristics in the ASFV-exposed cells exhibited the activation of antiviral signaling pathways with increased expression levels of interferon-stimulated genes and inflammatory- and cytokine-related genes. By comparing infected cells with unexposed cells, we showed that the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway was activated in low viral load cells, while the expression level of UPR-related genes in high viral load cells was less than that in unexposed cells. Cells infected with various viral loads showed signature transcriptomic changes at the median progression of infection. Within the infected cells, differential expression analysis and coregulated virus–host analysis both demonstrated ASFV promoted metabolic pathways but inhibited interferon and UPR signaling, implying the regulation pathway of viral replication in host cells. Furthermore, our results revealed that the cell apoptosis pathway was activated upon ASFV infection. Mechanistically, the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) induced by ASFV infection is necessary for cell apoptosis, highlighting the importance of TNF-α in ASFV pathogenesis. Collectively, the data provide insights into the comprehensive host responses and complex virus–host interactions during ASFV infection, which may instruct future research on antiviral strategies. Overall design: This study performed 10× experiment for seven samples from the uninfected group with various time points (0, 2, 6, 10, 15, 24 and 36 hpi) and six samples from the infected group with various time points (2, 6, 10, 15, 24 and 36 hpi).
Project description:African swine fever (ASF) is a swine disease caused by a large, structurally complex, double-stranded DNA virus, African swine fever virus (ASFV). In domestic pigs, acute infection by highly virulent ASF viruses causes hemorrhagic fever and death. Previous work has suggested that ASFV pathogenesis is primarily mediated by host cytokines produced by infected monocytes and macrophages. To better understand molecular mechanisms mediating virus pathogenesis and immune evasion, we used transcriptome analysis to identify gene expression changes after ASFV infection in ex vivo swine macrophages. Our results suggest that the cytokines of TNF family including FASLG, LTA, LTB, TNF, TNFSF4, TNFSF10, TNFSF13B and TNFSF18 are the major causative cytokine factors in ASF pathogenesis via inducing apoptosis. Other up-regulated proinflammatory cytokines (IL17F and interferons) and down-regulated anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL10) may also significantly contribute to ASF pathogenesis and cause excessive tissue inflammatory responses. The differential expression of genes also indicates that ASFV could evade both the innate and adaptive immune responses by (i) inhibiting MHC Class II antigen processing and presentation, (ii) avoiding CD8+ T effector cells and neutrophil extracellular traps via decreasing expression of neutrophil/CD8+ T effector cell-recruiting chemokines, (iii) suppressing M1 activation of macrophages, (iv) inducing immune suppressive cytokines, and (v) inhibiting the processes of macrophage autophagy and apoptosis. These results provide novel information to further investigate and better understand the mechanism of pathogenesis and immune evasion of this devastating swine disease.
Project description:African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating infectious disease in swine that is severely threatening the global pig industry. An efficacious vaccine is urgently required. Here, we used the Chinese ASFV HLJ/18 as a backbone and generated a series of gene-deleted viruses. The virulence, immunogenicity, safety, and protective efficacy evaluation in specific-pathogen-free pigs, commercial pigs, and pregnant sows indicated that one virus, namely HLJ/18-7GD, which has seven genes deleted, is fully attenuated in pigs, cannot convert to the virulent strain, and provides complete protection of pigs against lethal ASFV challenge. Our study shows that HLJ/-18-7GD is a safe and effective vaccine against ASFV, and as such is expected to play an important role in controlling the spread of ASFV.