VIDO-InterVac Adopts Two-Pronged Approach to ASF Vaccine Development

Jul 12, 2021

VIDO-InterVac is pursuing two potential options for protecting pigs from the ravages of African Swine fever. African Swine Fever, an OIE reportable disease which affects swine, is not present in North America but it continues to spread in Europe and Asia.

Dr. Andrew Van Kessel, the Associate Director Research with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, says, because this virus is complex, vaccine development has been challenging.

Clip-Dr. Andrew Van Kessel-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization:

We have a tremendous amount of experience in viral vectored vaccines. We have a tremendous amount of experience, particularly with the adenovirus vectored vaccines. The audience will be familiar with those with respect to the Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccine approaches. So, we are investigating adenovirus as a means of delivering some of the genes or a gene from ASF to the pig.

The expression of those genes via the adenovirus vector within the vaccinated animal would result in an immune response that would the protect the pig against ASF. The other approach that we are looking at and plan to look at in the future is an antiviral approach. The vaccine approach has certainly been a challenge. A large genome, identifying the genes that would provide protection and providing them in a way that produces protection is going to be a challenge.

So, a two-pronged approach seems prudent so we're also looking at an antiviral approach and can we identify compounds that might be administered to the pig that would be affective against preventing viral replication within cells and protect pigs in very much the same kind of way that a vaccine would. So, it’s a two-pronged approach that we’re looking at currently.

Source : Farmscape
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