Create a free Feed Strategy account to continue reading

USDA says it has developed ‘highly effective’ ASF vaccine

USDA scientists say they have developed a vaccine that is highly effective in protecting pigs against the current strain of African swine fever (ASF) that is spreading throughout Asia and Europe.

Salmonella-Campylobacter-vaccine1
Alwajasm | Freeimages.com

Live attenuated vaccine tested on animals at Plum Island has been ‘100% effective’

Scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) say they have developed a vaccine that is highly effective in protecting pigs against the current strain of African swine fever (ASF) that is spreading throughout Asia and Europe.

The live attenuated vaccine was developed by deleting a gene, called I177L, that was chosen using bioinformatic prediction that showed it was likely the gene involved in immunomodulation of the virus.

Live attenuated vaccine: A vaccine that uses a weakened, or attenuated, form of the germ that causes a disease.

Immunomodulation: Any process in which an immune response is altered to a desired level.

Testing of the vaccine on approximately 30 live pigs at Plum Island Animal Disease Center of New York has been highly successful, according to Douglas Gladue, senior scientist at the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS).

“In far experimental conditions, it has been 100% effective. All the animals that have been vaccinated are protected,” Gladue said in a phone interview.

There are no vaccines commercially available to protect against ASF, a highly contagious disease that is fatal in nearly 100% of infected swine. The strain of the virus that has killed millions of pigs in Asia and Europe is derived from the 2007 Georgia isolate. Research suggests this is the first vaccine that has been able to produce immunity against that strain.

“There are multiple African swine fever vaccines that are live attenuated vaccines that have been published,” Gladue said. “So far, there hasn’t been a lot of published vaccines that protect against the current isolate found in Georgia in 2007, which is the isolate that is currently affecting both Asia and Europe right now.”

Next steps

A patent has been filed by the USDA for the vaccine, and researchers are working to find a commercial partner to license the vaccine for further development.

Gladue said he expects a commercialized ASF vaccine to be welcomed in places that have been affected by ASF outbreaks.

“It’s always hard to comment on other countries’ policies,” he said. “But right now, with the current outbreak situation, if there was a commercialized live attenuated vaccine, I’m sure it would be welcomed in all the countries that are affected.”

Gladue said he could not comment on a time frame for finding a partner and getting a vaccine on the commercial market.

View our continuing coverage of the African swine fever outbreak.

Page 1 of 69
Next Page