ASF vaccine research ramps up in the US

Private, public funds directed to protect domestic herds from ASF
calendar icon 2 May 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

The US pork industry is in a race to develop a vaccine for African swine fever (ASF), investing public and private funds to protect domestic herds from the deadly disease, the US National Pork Board said in a news release.

In a recent announcement, the USDA said an ASF vaccine candidate passed an important safety test required for regulatory approval as it does not revert to its normal virulence. This moves the vaccine candidate one step closer to commercial availability and testing in Vietnam.

The National Pork Board is investing $930,000 of Pork Checkoff funds in four different studies that include validating vaccine types, tracking efficacy or effectiveness, and ensuring viability for commercialisation.

Genvax Technologies received a $145,000 grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research to develop a self-amplifying messenger RNA vaccine for ASF. Genvax contributed matching funds for a total investment of $290,000.

Purdue University received a $1 million grant to create a rapid test for ASF. The grant was awarded by the National Animal Health Laboratory Network and the National Animal Disease Preparedness and Response Program.

While this research is underway, the National Pork Board suggested US producers prepare for a potential ASF outbreak by creating an AgView account.

AgView is a pig-contact-tracing platform funded by the Pork Checkoff. It provides herd health and movement data to state and federal animal health officials to help minimise disruption and promote business continuity in case of an ASF outbreak.

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