Farms.com Home   News

New Grant Funds Development of Safe, Rapidly Deployable ASF Vaccines

A $1 million Seeding Solutions grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) has been awarded to Kansas State University (K-State) to develop safe and rapidly deployable vaccines to prevent African swine fever (ASF) virus. Elanco Animal Health, K-State, Kansas State University Innovation Partners and MEDIAN Diagnostics, Inc. provided matching funds for a $2,645,427 total investment.

“Should the virus reach the U.S., outputs from this research could slow the virus’ spread, protect millions of U.S. pigs and safeguard our food supply,” Jasmine Bruno, scientific program director at FFAR, said in a release.

ASF has been detected in over 50 countries in recent years. It continues to spread across Europe, Asia and Africa. Although this deadly disease of swine may seem miles away, the urgency to protect the U.S. swine herd from ASF has never been greater.

"Without a preventative vaccine or treatment, producers’ only control option are enhancing biosecurity, increasing surveillance and quarantining or culling infected pigs. Producers need a way to protect their herds, as losses would be staggering not only for the pork industry, but also for other agriculture commodities that support the industry, like corn and soy," FFAR said in a release.

To address this urgent concern, Waithaka Mwangi, immunology professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary at K-State, is developing and validating a vaccine to protect pigs from the virus.

"Certain proteins inherent within the virus can activate an immune response in swine. This research is identifying which ASFV proteins induce protective immune responses, the optimal vaccine dose, the most effective immunization platform and a way to differentiate infected from vaccinated pigs. Additionally, the research team is addressing safety concerns and production constraints that would allow regulatory agencies to approve the use of this vaccine," FFAR noted in a release.

Click here to see more...

Trending Video

Secure Pork Supply Plan | Preparing for the Future | U.S. Pork Producers

Video: Secure Pork Supply Plan | Preparing for the Future | U.S. Pork Producers

Join Jill Brokaw, a third-generation pig farmer and staff member of the National Pork Board, as she dives into the vital role of the Secure Pork Supply (SPS) Plan in preparing the U.S. pork industry for potential foreign animal disease outbreaks. This video is an essential watch for pork producers who are looking to safeguard their operations against the threats of diseases like foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever, and African swine fever.

Why Should Pork Producers Care? An outbreak of foreign animal diseases in the U.S. could lead to severe restrictions and potentially result in industry-wide financial losses estimated between $15 to $100 billion. The SPS Plan is a collective effort to prevent such catastrophic outcomes by enhancing biosecurity, ensuring animal traceability, and promoting effective disease monitoring.

What You'll Learn:

The Importance of Preparedness: Understand why being proactive is crucial for maintaining business continuity during an outbreak. Enhanced Biosecurity Measures: Write a site-specific biosecurity plan that can serve as the first line of defense against potential outbreaks. Animal Disease Traceability: Learn about the significance of tracking animal movement and how acquiring a premises identification number (PIN) and using AgView can facilitate this process. Disease Monitoring: Find out how continuous observation and reporting can keep your herd healthy and disease-free.

Getting Started with SPS: The video breaks down the seemingly daunting task of preparing for a foreign animal disease outbreak into manageable steps. With free resources available at www.securepork.org, including templates and instructions, Jill guides producers on developing a customized plan to enhance their farm's defenses.

Expert Insights: Hear from Dr. Pam Zaabel on collaborating with your herd veterinarian to develop and implement your SPS plan effectively.

Takeaway: The Secure Pork Supply initiative is more than a plan; it's a commitment to the resilience of our food supply and the livelihoods within the pork industry. By embracing these proactive measures, we can collectively enhance our preparedness for foreign animal disease outbreaks.