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New ASF Variant Found in China

Chinese scientists say they’ve identified what appears to be a new strain of the African Swine Fever virus working its way through three counties in the country.

A paper published in the journal Nature Communications says the new virus appears to be a hybrid of the new genotype 2 strain that caused the 2018 outbreak of ASF that began in China and a more recent but less deadly strain identified in 2021. Chris Netherton, head of ASF Vaccinology at the Pirbright Institute, says that the new variant is called genotype 1 for its apparent similarities to older versions of the virus. It causes chronic disease in pigs, but it’s not as deadly as genotype 2, which can kill over 80 percent of the hogs it infects.

Feed Strategy Magazine says the data from the Chinese study doesn’t appear to show the new strain is more contagious than the existing variants of ASF.

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