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Researchers Develop Vaccine to Fight African Swine Fever

Researchers Develop Vaccine to Fight African Swine Fever

By Andi Anderson

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) has allocated significant funding towards developing preventative measures against the spread of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). Through a $1 million Seeding Solutions grant from FFAR, matched by contributions from Elanco Animal Health and MEDIAN Diagnostics, Inc., researchers are working on developing effective vaccines to combat ASFV.

The research aims to identify specific proteins within the ASFV that trigger protective immune responses in pigs. By understanding these proteins and their role in immunity, the research team can develop vaccines that effectively safeguard swine herds. Additionally, they are determining the optimal vaccine dosage, the most effective immunization platform, and methods to differentiate between infected and vaccinated pigs.

The research team is addressing safety concerns and production limitations to ensure regulatory approval for the vaccine. This comprehensive approach aims to provide swine producers with essential tools to mitigate the devastating impact of ASFV on pig populations and the broader agricultural industry.

Dr. Jasmine Bruno, scientific program director at FFAR, emphasizes the importance of this research in preventing the spread of ASFV. If the virus were to reach the United States or other regions, the outcomes of this research could significantly slow its spread, protect millions of pigs, and safeguard the food supply.

Given recent detections of ASFV in various regions, the urgency of developing effective prevention measures has heightened. Without viable vaccines or treatments, producers rely solely on biosecurity measures, surveillance, and culling infected pigs to control the spread of the virus. However, the potential losses to the pork industry and related agricultural sectors underscore the critical need for preventative solutions like the ones being developed through this research initiative.

Photo Credit: istock-srdjan-stepic

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