The use of a gene deleted African Swine Fever Vaccine, developed by USDA’s Ag Research Service and licensed for further testing to a company in Vietnam, has been suspended after pigs that had been vaccinated died.
Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says initial reports indicated the vaccine’s efficacy was very high and safety studies were also very promising.
As part of wider use of the vaccine in Vietnam 600 pigs were vaccinated in a province in Vietnam and within a very short time after vaccination there were about 100 of them that had died and another 400 out of those 600 that had what was termed to be a vaccine reaction.
Vietnam suspended the use of the vaccine, we’re awaiting testing and investigation into what happened in that province. So far there is no official report from there. We don’t know the update on that. It may be related to the vaccine, it may be related to an ASF infection that’s not vaccine related or it may be another disease entirely.
The Department of Animal Health in Vietnam has sent an investigative team into the province and my most current information says that they are still in that investigation. I expect that that will be a lot of laboratory time doing all the things that have to be done in order to uncover the reason for that incident. Again, it may not be vaccine related but certainly that’s something that we have to know.
~ Dr. Paul Sundberg, Swine Health Information Center
Dr. Sundberg notes, although this is a setback, there are other African Swine Fever vaccines under development including a second gene deleted vaccine developed by USDA.