In this study, a new in situ hybridisation (ISH) protocol has been developed to identify African swine fever virus (ASFV) genome in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Different digoxigenin labelled ASFV-probes were tested, including single ASFV-specific oligonucleotides, an 18.5. kb restriction fragment from the viral genome and the entire ASFV genome. The latter showed the highest sensitivity in all tissues tested, independently of the virus used for challenge: E75L or Ba71L. Although a similar ASFV genome distribution was observed, the number of ISH-positive cells was higher for Ba71L compared to E75L infected tissues. As expected, the monocyte-macrophage cell lineage was the main target cell for ASFV infection. Corresponding with the last stages of infection, ISH-positive signals were also found in other cell types, including endothelial cells, hepatocytes and neutrophils. Furthermore, two unexpected findings were also noticed: the detection of a specific ISH-signal in lymphocytes and a tendency to find the signal in the nucleus of infected cells. In summary, the present findings demonstrate the utility of this new ISH protocol to study ASFV pathogenesis and its potential use as a diagnostic tool. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.
- Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues