Commercially available cell line rapidly detects African swine fever virus
Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have identified a new way to detect the presence of live African swine fever virus (ASFV) that minimizes the need for samples from live animals and provides easier access to veterinary labs that need to diagnose the virus. They report in the journal Viruses the identification of a commercially available cell line, MA-104, as a suitable substrate for isolation of ASFV.
“We have identified a cell-line that can be used to isolate and detect the presence of the live virus,” said ARS Scientist Dr. Douglas Gladue. “This is a critical breakthrough and a tremendous step for African swine fever virus diagnostics.”
Until now, effectively detecting live ASFV required collecting blood cells from a live donor pig for every diagnostic test, because the cells could only be used once. The new cell line can be continuously replicated and frozen to create cells for future use, reducing the number of live donor animals needed.
The new cell line is also commercially available to veterinary diagnostic labs that traditionally did not have access to swine blood cells needed to test for live ASFV.
The research was funded through an interagency agreement with the Science and Technology Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A provisional patent application for this research was filed in April 2020 and the technology is now available for license.
Article: Rai, A., Pruitt, S., Ramirez-Medina, E., Vuono, E. A., Silva, E., Velazquez-Salinas, L., Carrillo, C., Borca, M. V., Gladue, D. P. (2020). Identification of a Continuously Stable and Commercially Available Cell Line for the Identification of Infectious African Swine Fever Virus in Clinical Samples. Viruses, 12(8), 820, doi: 10.3390/v12080820