Researchers led by Profs. RAO Zihe and WANG Xiangxi from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Prof. BU Zhigao from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences were the first in the world to determine the African swine fever virus (ASFV) structure at near atomic resolution. The researchers revealed the virus’s unique five-layer, 3-D structural features, thus providing a basis for vaccine development.
The team’s systematic investigation encompassed fundamental research, clinical diagnosis and laying the groundwork for ASF vaccine development. The researchers successfully isolated the epidemic ASFV strain and solved the AFSV structure at a resolution of 4.1-angstroms, using an optimized image reconstruction strategy. The virus’s structural details show the basis for capsid stability and assembly and will have a profound impact on the development of new strategies for vaccine development.
African swine fever virus (ASFV) structure (Left: five-layer structural features; Right: capsid structure)