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Researchers identify a “promising” ASF vaccine breakthrough

Researchers in China have made “very promising” progress in the search for a vaccine that protects against ASF.

6 March 2020, at 9:13am

According to reporting from the National Pig Association, the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, China’s top animal disease research body, has developed an ASF vaccine that is both safe and effective in laboratory trials.

The research findings were detailed in a recently released paper. The institute created a live vaccine, called HLJ/-18-7GD from a series of “gene-deleted” viruses based on the country’s first strain of ASF.

"The virulence, immunogenicity, safety, and protective efficacy evaluation in specific-pathogen-free pigs, commercial pigs, and pregnant sows indicated that one virus, namely HLJ/18-7GD, which has seven genes deleted, is fully attenuated in pigs, cannot convert to the virulent strain, and provides complete protection of pigs against lethal ASFV challenge," the researchers said.

"Our study shows that HLJ/-18-7GD is a safe and effective vaccine against ASFV, and as such is expected to play an important role in controlling the spread of ASFV."

Though this is welcome news, there is no indication that the vaccine is close to getting market approval. The production of the vaccine is currently overseen by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The body has given no estimated timelines on when it could be put into production.

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