We present an analysis of the complete genome of African swine fever virus (ASFV) strain BA71V, including 80 kbp of novel sequence and 90 kbp previously reported by several authors. The viral DNA is 170,101 nucleotides long and contains 151 open reading frames. Structural and/or functional information is available on 113 viral proteins. ASFV encodes five multigene families, putative membrane and secreted proteins, and enzymes involved in nucleotide and nucleic acid metabolism (including DNA repair) and protein modification. Database comparisons have provided clues about genes that may modulate the virus-host interaction, thus, possibly controlling ASFV virulence and persistence. The virus possesses genes similar to CD2, IkappaB, C-type lectins, MyD116/gadd34/gamma, 34.5, bcl-2/bax, iap, NifS, and ERV1, which may allow a viral regulation of cell adhesion, apoptosis, and redox metabolism, as well as of the host immune response against ASFV infection. The proteins encoded by different ASFV isolates are highly similar, the most variable ones being those belonging to multigene families, some membrane proteins, and those containing tandem repeats. DNA sequence data confirm the intermediate characteristics of ASFV between poxviruses and iridoviruses, supporting the notion that ASFV belongs to an independent virus family.