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DHS, MatMaCorp Test Tools to Detect Swine Virus in Pork

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The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate partnered with MatMaCorp to test technologies designed to detect the African Swine Fever.

S&T and MatMaCorp signed a cooperative research and development agreement to test ASF detection with the latter's portable nucleic acid analysis system, DHS said Tuesday. The ASF virus, found in pigs, does not threaten human lives but may affect the country's pork resources. The U.S. market gets $24 billion worth of pork every year, adding to the country's status as the biggest global pork exporter.

“An introduction of ASF into the United States – and a failure to plan for or manage its spread through active surveillance and field testing – could eliminate the domestic pork export market,” said John Neilan, science director at S&T's Plum Island Animal Disease Center.

MatMaCorp’s technology detected the virus in samples from infected pigs during tests. DHS also partnered with the Department of Agriculture to establish the ASF Task Force, an effort to prevent ASF from entering the U.S. The task force manages the CRADA with MatMaCorp.