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ASF vaccine clears regulatory hurdle as industry tracks progress

A potential vaccine for African swine fever (ASF) passed an important safety test required for regulatory approval, scientists with USDA's Agriculture Research Service (ARS) announced this week.

The latest results in a series of safety studies show that the vaccine candidate does not revert to its normal virulence after being injected into swine, “a critical milestone,” according to an ARS news release. This particular test is critical in that it confirms that the vaccine’s weakened form of the ASF virus does not revert to its original state, the ARS scientists noted. The vaccine – known as ASFV-G-DI177L – will undergo additional testing, but the latest results move the candidate a step closer to commercial availability, they added.

Current plans call for testing in Vietnam and other countries, but eventually the vaccine will require approval from animal health officials within individual countries that request its use to address ASF contagion among their hogs.

The highly contagious virus spread from Africa to the Republic of Georgia in 2007, and has since spread through Central Europe and Asia. It reached the Dominican Republic in July 2021, but has not reached U.S. shores so far.

Meanwhile, the National Pork Board says it is investing $930,000 to support four different studies that include validation of vaccine types, tracking of efficacy or effectiveness and to ensure commercialization viability. The organization’s Pork Checkoff program is providing financing for this and other ASF vaccine programs. Perdue University also received a $10-million grant to create a rapid test for ASF led by a co-developer of a paper-based test for COVID-19 and Bovine Respiratory Disease.

Par : Kate Gibson (26/04/2022)

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