African swine fever (ASF) is a devastating haemorrhagic fever of pigs that causes up to 100 % mortality, for which there is no vaccine. It is caused by a unique DNA virus that is maintained in an ancient cycle between warthogs and argasid ticks, making it the only known DNA arbovirus. ASF has a high potential for transboundary spread, and has twice been transported from Africa to other continents - Europe and subsequently the Caribbean and Brazil (1957, 1959) and the Caucasus (2007). It is also a devastating constraint for pig production in Africa. Research at Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute has made and is making important contributions to knowledge of this disease, focusing on the cycle in warthogs and tampans and transmission from that cycle to domestic pigs, resistance to its effects in domestic pigs, and the molecular genetic characterisation and epidemiology of the virus.