HS S&T Completes Successful Test of DNA Tool to Detect African Swine Fever in Pigs
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and MatMaCorp completed a successful evaluation of a field-deployable genetic test to detect African Swine Fever (ASF) virus in infected pigs and pork products. As ASF continues to rapidly spread in other parts of the world, scientists at S&T’s Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) sought to evaluate available technologies for rapid detection.
ASF is a high-threat transboundary animal disease that is often fatal to pigs but poses no threat to human health. The United States is the largest global exporter of pork, and more than 115 million hogs valued at $24 billion go to U.S. market yearly.
“An introduction of ASF into the United States – and a failure to plan for or manage its spread through active surveillance and field testing – could eliminate the domestic pork export market,” said Dr. John Neilan, S&T PIADC Science Director. “There is currently no vaccine or field-deployable detection device to protect livestock in the event of an ASF outbreak. We are focused on testing and evaluating countermeasures to prevent, respond to, and recover from a possible large-scale ASF outbreak.”
Through a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with MatMaCorp of Lincoln, Nebraska, the team assessed how well the MatMaCorp’s portable nucleic acid analysis system detects the ASF virus in the field.
PIADC and MatMaCorp collected clinical tissue samples from infected laboratory pigs, including oral fluid, blood, meat tissue, bone marrow and spleen, and, using MatMaCorp’s tools, were able to detect the virus in all samples.
“Technologies like these allow testing to move out of the lab and onto the front lines, enhancing our nation’s preparedness and responsive capacities against the ASF virus,” said Dr. Michael Puckette, the S&T PIADC microbiologist who led the work. “These field technologies, …read more
From:: CBRNe World (CBRN)