The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center says, for the first time, we can see the prospects on the horizon for a commercially available African Swine Fever vaccine.
African Swine Fever continues to move with new outbreaks confirmed in Indonesia, Bhutan and Thailand, outbreaks in wild boar in Italy and ongoing challenges in the Caribbean.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says one of the biggest research priorities has been vaccine development.
USDA just reported that there has been further testing of the prototype vaccine that they have been testing in Vietnam in conjunction with a commercial company there. On their tests there has been no reversion of the vaccine virus to wild type virus in causing infection. That’s a very important safety test.
There’s still a lot of work to be done and there needs to be work in the ability to differentiate vaccine antibodies from wild type antibodies. We want to make sure that, if a pig has come into contact with a wild type, we can tell that from a pig that may have been vaccinated. That’s an important distinction and one that needs further work.
I think we’re taking steps to go toward a commercialized vaccine in the at least foreseeable future. I don’t know what that time line would be but now it looks like we can start to see on the horizon the opportunity for vaccines at least which, at the beginning of this outbreak in 2018 in China, there was no such optimistic look so that’s a positive thing.
~ Dr. Paul Sundberg, Swine Health Information Center
To learn the latest on the African Swine Fever situation visit swinehealth.org.