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A Multi-Laboratory Comparison of Methods for Detection and Quantification of African Swine Fever Virus

African swine fever is a viral disease of the family Suidae. Methods to detect and quantify African swine fever virus (ASFV) include qPCR and virus infectivity assays. Individual laboratories often use in-house procedures for these assays, which can hamper the comparison of results. The objective of this study was to estimate the probability of ASFV detection using these assays, and to determine the inter-test correlations between results. This was achieved by testing a panel of 80 samples at three reference laboratories. Samples were analysed using nucleic acid extraction and qPCR, as well as virus infectivity assays. For qPCR, a very high probability (ranging from 0.96 to 1.0) of detecting ASFV DNA was observed for all tested systems. For virus infectivity assays in cells, the probability of detecting infectious ASFV varied from 0.68 to 0.90 and was highest using pulmonary alveolar macrophages, followed by MARC145 cells, peripheral blood monocytes, and finally wild boar lung cells. Intraclass correlation coefficient estimates of 0.97 (0.96–0.98) between qPCR methods, 0.80 (0.74–0.85) to 0.94 (0.92–0.96) between virus infectivity assays, and 0.77 (0.68–0.83) to 0.95 (0.93–0.96) between qPCR methods and virus infectivity assays were obtained. These findings show that qPCR gives the highest probability for the detection of ASFV.



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