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Detection of African swine fever virus-like sequences in ponds in the Mississippi Delta through metagenomic sequencing


Metagenomic characterization of water virome was performed in four Mississippi catfish ponds. Although differing considerably from African swine fever virus (ASFV), 48 of 446,100 sequences from 12 samples were similar enough to indicate that they represent new members in the family Asfarviridae. At present, ASFV is the only member of Asfarviridae, and this study presents the first indication of a similar virus in North America. At this point, there is no indication that the identified virus(es) pose a threat to human or animal health, and further study is needed to characterize their potential risks to both public health and agricultural development.

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We thank Mary Duke and Dr. Brian Scheffler at USDA-ARS, Mid-South Area Genomics Laboratory, Stoneville, MS for genomic sequencing. This Project was supported by USDA APHIS NWRC Award 1174280807CA 12030306 and NIH RC1AI086830 to XFW.

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Correspondence to Xiu-Feng Wan.

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Wan, X., Barnett, J.L., Cunningham, F. et al. Detection of African swine fever virus-like sequences in ponds in the Mississippi Delta through metagenomic sequencing. Virus Genes 46, 441–446 (2013).

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  • African swine fever virus
  • Catfish pond
  • Freshwater
  • Metagenomics
  • Mississippi Delta
  • Asfarviridae