Evaluation in Swine of a Recombinant Georgia 2010 African Swine Fever Virus Lacking the I8L Gene

Elizabeth Vuono, Elizabeth Ramirez-Medina, Sarah Pruitt, Ayushi Rai, Ediane Silva, Nallely Espinoza, James Zhu, Lauro Velazquez-Salinas, Douglas P. Gladue, Manuel V. Borca
2020 Viruses  
African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the causative agent of African swine fever, a disease currently causing significant economic losses in Europe and Asia. Specifically, the highly virulent ASFV strain Georgia 2010 (ASFV-G) is producing disease outbreaks in this large geographical region. The ASFV genome encodes for over 150 genes, most of which are still not experimentally characterized. I8L is a highly conserved gene that has not been studied beyond its initial description as a virus ORF.
more » ... scriptional analysis of swine macrophages infected with ASFV-G demonstrated that the I8L gene is transcribed early during the virus replication cycle. To assess the importance of I8L during ASFV-G replication in vitro and in vivo, as well as its role in virus virulence in domestic swine, we developed a recombinant virus lacking the I8L gene (ASFV-G-ΔI8L). Replication of ASFV-G-ΔI8L was similar to parental ASFV-G replication in primary swine macrophage cultures, suggesting that the I8L gene is not essential for ASFV-G replication in vitro. Similarly, replication of ASFV-G-ΔI8L in swine intramuscularly inoculated with 102 HAD50 displayed replication kinetics similar to ASFV-G. In addition, animals inoculated with ASFV-G-ΔI8L presented with a clinical disease indistinguishable from that induced by the same dose of the virulent parental ASFV-G isolate. We conclude that deletion of the I8L gene from ASFV-G does not affect virus replication in vitro or in vivo, nor changes the disease outcome in swine.
doi:10.3390/v13010039 pmid:33383814 fatcat:udwzz7xg6jbavlhuiktbxutrxy