Comparative analysis of the complete genome sequences of Kenyan African swine fever virus isolates within p72 genotypes IX and X

Twelve complete African swine fever virus (ASFV) genome sequences are currently publicly available and these include only one sequence from East Africa. We describe genome sequencing and annotation of a recent pig-derived p72 genotype IX, and a tick-derived genotype X isolate from Kenya using the Illumina platform and comparison with the Kenya 1950 isolate. The three genomes constitute a cluster that was phylogenetically distinct from other ASFV genomes, but 98–99 % conserved within the group. Vector-based compositional analysis of the complete genomes produced a similar topology. Of the 125 previously identified ‘core’ ASFV genes, two ORFs of unassigned function were absent from the genotype IX sequence which was 184 kb in size as compared to 191 kb for the genotype X. There were multiple differences among East African genomes in the 360 and 110 multicopy gene families. The gene corresponding to 360-19R has transposed to the 5′ variable region in both genotype X isolates. Additionally, there is a 110 ORF in the tick-derived genotype X isolate formed by fusion of 13L and 14L that is unique among ASFV genomes. In future, functional analysis based on the variations in the multicopy families may reveal whether they contribute to the observed differences in virulence between genotpye IX and X viruses.