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Complexity of Virus Makes Developing ASF Vaccines Challenging
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel - Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization

Farmscape for July 29, 2021

The Associate Director Research with VIDO-InterVac says the complexity of the virus responsible for African Swine Fever has made the development of a vaccine to prevent it extremely challenging.
Since receiving federal approval about a year and a half ago to work with African Swine Fever the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization has been working on two approaches for preventing the disease, the development of a viral vectored vaccine using an adenovirus to deliver one or more of the genes from ASF to the pig to stimulate immunity and the identification of compounds that would prevent viral replication within cells and protect pigs in much the same way as a vaccine.
Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the Associate Director Research with VIDO-InterVac, says this infection is not only a serious risk to animal health but it also carries significant trade implications.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-VIDO-InterVac:
It's a viral infection of pigs that is relatively slowly transmitted but is highly devastating in terms of its impact on mortality.
It's nearly 100 percent fatal in terms of the infection.
Of course, there's a concern in terms of the impact of this disease as it transmits through the herd in terms of the performance and health of animals but, as we are well aware in Canada, this is an OIE reportable disease.
The disease is not present in North America at present.
Should it arrive in Canada the impact would be devastating primarily from a closure of borders to international trade and the implications that has given that in Canada we sell two of every three hogs at least on an international market and the impact that would have on the swine business would certainly be devastating.

Dr. Van Kessel says the work is ongoing but, because of the complexity of the virus, projecting times frames is difficult.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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