Report: African swine fever vaccine gives pigs 100% protection


The National Hog Farmer reports scientists from the Pirbright Institute say they have taken the next step in the race to develop a vaccine for African swim fever. In a recent study published, 100% of pigs immunized with the new vaccine survived a lethal dose of the ASF virus.

ASF is a deadly disease among pigs and wild boar. The disease continues to spread across Eastern Europe an Asia, resulting in the deaths of more than 7 million pigs worldwide.

With no commercial vaccine available, biosecurity measures and the culling of susceptible animals are the only methods available to contain ASF.

The Pirbright team developed a vaccine that uses a non-harmful virus to deliver eight strategically selected genes from the ASF virus genome into pig cells.

Christine Middlemiss, the UK’s chief veterinary officer, says: “This is a very encouraging breakthrough and it means we are one step closer to safeguarding the health of our pigs and the wider industry’s role in global food supply from African swine fever. While there has never been an outbreak of African swine fever in the UK, we are not complacent and already have robust measures in place to protect against animal disease outbreaks.”