USDA researchers find 2nd possible ASF vaccine candidate
There might be a second vaccine candidate for African swine fever. That is thanks to researchers from USDA who are using genetic modification.
The first candidate was adapted to grow in a “cell line,” which means vaccine makers will not have to use live pigs and fresh cells for production. They are now studying the virus by deleting genes and observing the impact.
The USDA has announced plans to set up a protection zone in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The move aims to prevent foreign animal diseases like ASF from entering the country. USDA chief veterinary officer Rosemary Sifford explains their efforts:
“We’re going to use additional mitigations that we’re putting in place to develop a protection zone in addition to the surveillance and education and outreach. We’re also looking at opportunities to further restrict the pork products that might move in inner-state commerce from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to the mainland. Normally, those items have not been restricted, we’re going to add some restrictions there and that will allow us to provide the OIE.”
USDA’s APHIS says that they are confident these measures will protect the livestock industry from ASF and ensure the continued export of pork.