African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a large, enveloped virus containing a double-stranded DNA genome of approximately 190 kbp. It is the only member of the Asfarviridae family and the only known DNA arbovirus. Virulent isolates of ASFV cause an acutely lethal hemorrhagic disease in domestic pigs with 100% mortality. Despite the fact that the disease was first described in 1921, no ASFV vaccine is currently available, which complicates the control of ASFV spread. In 2007, ASFV was re-introduced onto the European continent via Georgia from which it spread to Armenia, leading to the huge economic losses.
In the absence of a vaccine, antiviral compounds developed at a reasonable cost may have beneficial effect. Their application in affected farms and areas located close to the viral outbreaks may reduce or completely eliminate the occurrence of ASFV. Our group located at the Institute of Molecular Biology of NAS, Yerevan, Armenia, focuses on the discovery and development of antiviral strategies against ASFV. We do this by employing a wide variety screening techniques complemented by molecular biology methods.
We are always happy to welcome motivated individuals who are interested in our research. If candidates wish to joins us for their bachelor’s or master’s theses, they should be hard-working, good at problem solving and innovative. For more details, please contact Hovakim.