The Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development (DOST-PCAARRD) and the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) continue to gather more samples from swine producing regions to collect data on the possible variants of the African Swine Fever virus (ASFv) present in the country’s hog population, as it initially found two variants of virus from the 19 local samples they collected.
DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña bared this in his weekly report on Friday, relaying the updates on the DOST PCAARRD-CLSU Research Project on ASFv.
“Initial results of the DNA sequencing of ASFv collected from local samples revealed two variants of the virus (from initial 19 samples tested),” he said, quoting the report submitted by Dr. Clarissa Domingo, project leader of DOST PCAARRD-CLSU Research on ASFv.
“This information is important in vaccine development and in the crafting of a vaccination plan for the local swine population,” he stressed.
The DOST PCAARRD-CLSU research team reported that currently, the project is fine-tuning loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) protocol for diagnosis using blood and meat samples.
“This protocol has shorter reaction time of about 10 minutes compared to the surface swab (protocol developed earlier) that shows results in about 30 minutes. The surface swab method detects ASFv from feeds, water, delivery trucks, floors, walls and other surfaces,” said Domingo, a professor at CLSU.
According to her, the results of LAMP diagnosis have been confirmed with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests.
“Collection of more samples from other swine producing regions is currently being pursued to ascertain sensitivity of the test and to gather information on the possible variants of the virus that are present in our local pig population,” she said.