The Effect of Temperature on the Stability of African Swine Fever Virus BA71V Isolate in Environmental Water Samples

African swine fever virus (ASFV) is known to be very stable and can remain infectious over long periods of time especially at low temperatures and within different matrices, particularly those containing animal-derived organic material. However, there are some gaps in our knowledge pertaining to the survivability and infectivity of ASFV in groundwater. This study aims to determine the stability and infectivity of the cell culture-adapted ASFV strain BA71V by plaque assay after incubation of the virus within river water samples at three different environmentally relevant temperatures (4 °C, 15 °C, and 21 °C) over the course of 42 days. The results from this study indicate that ASFV can remain stable and infectious when maintained at 4 °C in river water for more than 42 days, but as incubation temperatures are increased, the stability is reduced, and the virus is no longer able to form plaques after 28 days and 14 days, respectively, when stored at 15 °C and 21 °C. Characterizing the survivability of ASFV in groundwater can allow us to develop more appropriate inactivation and disinfection methods to support disease control and mitigate ASFV outbreaks.

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