USDA discovers African swine fever vaccine

Posted by Marina
Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) believe they have found a vaccine for African swine fever. They found that deletion of a previously uncharacterized gene, I177L, produces complete attenuation of the virus in swine.

Those pigs that were inoculated intramuscularly with the virus without the I177L gene remained clinically normal during the 28-day observation period. In addition, all infected animals had a very low level of viremia, obtaining a strong virus-specific antibody response.

According to the USDA researchers who were responsible for this study, pigs were protected when challenged with the virulent parental strain ASFV-G (African Swine Fever of Georgia). “ASFV-G-ΔI177L is one of the few experimental vaccine candidate virus strains reported to induce protection against the ASFV Georgia isolate, and the first vaccine capable of inducing sterile immunity against the current ASFV strain responsible for recent outbreaks.” , explained the specialized portal Poultry Industry.

The disease has caused serious damage to the international pig market, having decimated pig populations across Asia, particularly China, which had to resort to other markets to meet its demand. There are now records that the plague is invading and slowly spreading in Europe, too, which turns on a kind of warning signal in scientists.

So far there is no vaccine or medicine against the disease, the only solution to the problem has been the sacrifice of animals so that it does not spread.

Source: Agrolink