African swine fever virus genotype II in Mongolia, 2019

African swine fever (ASF) is a severe haemorrhagic disease of domestic and wild pigs caused by the African swine fever virus (ASFV). In recent years, ASF has steadily spread towards new geographical areas, reaching Europe and Asia. On January 15th, 2019, Mongolia reported its first ASF outbreak to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), becoming, after China, the second country in the region affected by the disease. Following an event of unusual mortality in domestic pigs in Bulgan Province, a field team visited four farms and a meat market in the region to conduct an outbreak investigation and collect samples for laboratory analysis. Different organs were examined for ASF associated lesions, and total nucleic acid was extracted for real-time PCR, virus isolation and molecular characterization. The real-time PCR results confirmed ASFV DNA in 10 out of 10 samples and ASFV was isolated. Phylogenetic analysis established that ASFVs from Mongolia belong to genotype II and serogroup 8. The viruses were identical to each other, and to domestic pig isolates identified in China and Russia, based on the comparison of five genomic targets. Our results suggest a cross-border spread of ASFV, without indicating the source of infection.

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