African swine fever (ASF) is an emerging disease threat for the swine industry worldwide. No ASF vaccine is available and progress is hindered by lack of knowledge concerning the extent of ASF virus (ASFV) strain diversity and the viral antigens responsible for protection in the pig. Available data from vaccination/challenge experiments in pigs indicate ASF protective immunity is haemadsorption inhibition (HAI) serotype-specific. A better understanding of ASFV HAI serological groups and their diversity in nature, as well as improved methods to serotype ASFV isolates, is needed. Here, we demonstrated that the genetic locus encoding ASFV CD2v and Ctype lectin proteins mediates HAI serological specificity and that CD2v/C-type lectin genotyping provides a simple method to group ASFVs by serotype, thus facilitating study of ASFV strain diversity in nature, and providing information necessary for eventual vaccine design, development and efficacious use.
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