The China Animal Disease Prevention and Control Center has approved Thermo Fisher Scientific’s real-time polymerase chain reaction-based workflow to detect and monitor the spread of African swine fever. The PCR method is the preferred detection technology now in use for the ASF outbreak currently affecting China.
Swine industry experts agree that countries need to be vigilant as the virus could be imported with feed, feed components or travelers. In the absence of vaccines, monitoring and control of ASF by diagnostic methods are crucial components of a control program. PCR-based diagnostic testing is designed to identify the virus by detecting its DNA, rather than antibodies that are generated against it, allowing earlier detection of the virus compared to other diagnostic methods.
Thermo Fisher’s ASF detection real-time PCR workflow passed the stringent performance and validation assessment protocol carried out by the Center, which is part of China’s Ministry of Agriculture. The validation was conducted on a panel of 84 samples, primarily ASF virus field samples, as well as negative samples and others containing other viruses. China Animal Husbandry Group, Thermo Fisher Scientific’s distributor partner, submitted the sample to answer workflow for ASF virus detection with components that included Applied Biosystems MagMAX CORE nucleic acid extraction kits and QuantStudio PCR instruments, which contributed to the successful validation.
“It’s important to have the right diagnostic tools available to get an outbreak under control, and our tools can help China’s diagnostic laboratories rapidly determine if ASF virus is on a farm so pig farmers and veterinarians can take appropriate action against further spread of the virus,” says Martin Guillet, global head and general manager for AgriBusiness at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “With ASF spreading across the globe, we work with countries to help limit the spread of the virus as well as to proactively monitor and prepare for the virus so they aren’t caught off-guard if the virus should make it into their country.”