A Step Forward in African Swine Fever Control for Eurasian Wild Boars

( Valentin Panzirsch )

African swine fever (ASF) is the most significant threat to the swine industry worldwide. New research shows the first oral vaccine prototype described for ASF has proven effective on Eurasian wild boars.

“We are still doing more complementary studies and tests. But the preliminary results are very promising,” says Jose Sánchez-Vizcaíno, DVM.

His team at the University Complutense of Madrid, together with his former team at the CISA-INIA (Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal – Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Agrarias), just described a new, natural, attenuated ASF isolate that induces a high protection in wild boar (more than 92%) by oral administration. According to the study, the most severely affected host in the EU are wild boars.

“With no vaccine against the ASF virus tested in wild boar, this experiment represents a considerable progress for the control of ASF infection in the wild cycle,” says Sánchez-Vizcaíno, director of one of three reference laboratories for ASF in the World Organization Animal Health (OIE).

Further studies on the safety of repeated administration and overdose, genetic stability of vaccine during passages are in progress to determine if this could be an effective ASF-control program for free-ranging wild boars, he says.

Sánchez-Vizcaíno says the vaccine would be administered in bait. Further tests will indicate the future of the vaccine and its significance in the control of ASF in field conditions.

He is more optimistic than ever that the answer to ASF can be found. 

“Every day I dedicate more of my life to this type of work that combines the analysis of big data and prevention methods. In a few years I hope that the world has more non-intrusive techniques that improve animal well-being, reduce the use of antibiotics and other drugs, and raise the health and quality of our food,” Sánchez-Vizcaíno says.

Authors include Jose Barasona, Carmina Gallardo, Estefanía Cadenas, Cristina Jurado, Belén Rivera, Antonio Rodríguez-Bertos, Marisa Arias and Sánchez-Vizcaíno.

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