National Institute of Animal Health, NARO

Development of a new genetic test method that enables simultaneous diagnosis of classical swine fever and African swine fever

-Contributes to the early epidemic prevention measures by easy and rapid detection-

National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) and Takara Bio Inc. have jointly developed a real-time PCR method that can easily and simultaneously detect the genes of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and African swine fever virus (ASFV) without purifying the viral nucleic acid from the sample. This test method enables us to detect and differentiate both classical swine fever (CSF) and African swine fever (ASF) within two hours, which generally requires 6 hours for each test. Hence, this test method is expected to be useful for rapid detection of both CSF and ASF to allow early implementation of preventive measures against the diseases.


African swine fever (ASF) is a viral infectious disease of pigs and wild boars that is extremely lethal and has no effective methods of treatment or prevention. Even though ASF was not yet reported in Japan, it is necessary to be vigilant against the invasion since it is currently rampant on a global scale, and many cases has been reported in neighboring regions such as East Asia and Southeast Asia consecutively. Meanwhile, classical swine fever (CSF), which was reported in 2018 in Japan for the first time in 26 years, continues to affect the pigs in domestic farms and is spreading in wild boars. Both diseases are important notifiable diseases specified by the Act on Domestic Animal Infectious Diseases Control. However, clinical symptoms of both ASF and CSF are very similar, and hence genetic testing is required for the accurate diagnosis. In order to implement ASF and CSF prevention measures reliably and effectively, it is necessary to develop and disseminate rapid and practical genetic test methods.
NARO and Takara Bio Inc. have made a major review of the testing methods that are widely used in prefectural diagnosis laboratories and developed a real-time PCR method by adopting an extraction reagent that can be used for only simple pretreatment of samples and a PCR enzyme that is tolerant to impurities. This method can determine both CSF and ASF diseases simultaneously, easily, and quickly with a single test, without going through the process of purifying viral nucleic acids from test materials.
This new inspection method is expected to be used in national and prefectural disease diagnosis laboratories as one of the real-time PCR methods described in the diagnostic manual of the "Specific Domestic Animal Infectious Disease Quarantine Guidelines" (Revised on October 1, 2021) published by the MAFF. The PCR reagent group corresponding to this test method will be released by Takara Bio Inc. on November 1st.

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