Promising News on ASF Vaccine

According to the American Society for Microbiology, U.S. government researchers have developed a vaccine to deal with African Swine Fever. Pork Checkoff chief veterinarian Dr. David Pyburn is enthusiastic about this news…

“The vaccine that we are talking about is a gene deleted vaccine that has been created at Plum Island at our ARS laboratory. Doctors Gladue and Borca have worked on this, and they have worked with other candidates as well. What makes this candidate so special is the fact that they’ve done a couple of dose challenges. Now, they’ve been done in small groups of pigs, so we got more work to do here with more research to prove this. But in small challenges with different doses, we’ve seen some efficacy and actually some very good work with this vaccine. What they’ve done is they’ve used it in pig, and then they’ve given it a viral challenge with the current ASF strain that’s traveling around the globe and causing havoc. And, with that one single dose, 28 days after vaccination, the pigs were protected from that viral challenge. They did not show clinical signs, and even more important, they did not show viral shedding. So that’s extremely important, so we got pigs that our protected from the virus and they’re not running around spreading the virus either after they are vaccinate with this vaccine.”

To advance this vaccine commercially, more work needs to be done…

“We need to get a commercial partner for this vaccine, as I said the trials that they are able to do on Plum Island that they have done are with very small groups of pigs. We need some bigger trials on efficacy and safety on larger groups of pigs. That takes a commercial partner because that takes big dollars to be able to do that. They don’t have a commercial partner at this point. So, what we need to do is we need to push for that technology to be transferred from that Plum Island lab in a licensing agreement to a commercial partner so that we can have somebody step in and start doing some of these larger efficacy and safety studies and get this thing moving. Everybody asks me how long until that vaccine goes commercial, I’m going to use the language that I heard from doctors Gladue and Borca. One of them said a commercial vaccine is probably still years away, even if we get a commercial partner right now. And the time frame for regulatory approval and commercialization is unknown to them at this point because they don’t have that partner. But they believe it could be done it what could be considered a reasonable time frame, a couple of years, probably, to the point we would have a commercial vaccine.”
Pyburn says this vaccine is the first that he’s seen where it includes protection from African Swine Fever and no viral shedding.

For more information, producers can contact the Pork Checkoff Service Center. Go to Pork.org or call 800-456-PORK.