African swine fever virus (ASFV): Biology, genomics and genotypes circulating in sub-Saharan Africa

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly infectious and fatal haemorrhagic disease of pigs that is caused by a complex DNA virus of the genus Asfivirus and Asfarviridae African suids family. The disease is among the most devastating pig diseases worldwide including Africa. Although the disease was first reported in the 19th century, it has continued to spread in Africa and other parts of the world. Globally, the rising demand for pork and concomitant increase in transboundary movements of pigs and pork products is likely to increase the risk of transmission and spread of ASF and pose a major challenge to the pig industry. Different genotypes of the ASF virus (ASFV) with varying virulence have been associated with different outbreaks in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and worldwide, and understanding genotype circulation will be important for ASF prevention and control strategies. ASFV genotypes unique to Africa have also been reported in SSA. This review briefly recounts the biology, genomics and genotyping of ASFV and provides an account of the different genotypes circulating in SSA. The review also highlights prevention, control and progress on vaccine development and identifies gaps in knowledge of ASFV genotype circulation in SSA that need to be addressed.