Dr. Paul Sundberg Interview on ASF Vaccine Progress

Two leading swine veterinarians said there has been some progress in the development of an African Swine Fever vaccine.

The Swine Health Information Center’s executive director, Paul Sundberg, tells Brownfield research from the Harbin Institute in China has successfully prevented some aspects of the virus but not all of them.

“While it was able to keep the pigs from getting sick and it was able to keep the pigs from dying, it wasn’t able to keep the pigs from actually getting and carrying the African Swine Fever virus,” he said.

The chief veterinarian with the National Pork Board, Dave Pyburn, said USDA research, based in Plumb Island, New York, has found no clinical signs of the virus or shedding through the testing of their vaccine.

He said a vaccine that prevents shedding is critical because pigs are likely to transmit the virus further in regions where ASF has never been before, like the U.S.

“Those pigs that have been infected with African Swine Fever virus, for a period of time after infection, will shed the virus in just about all the bodily fluids coming from that pig,” Pyburn said.

But he said vaccines that allow shedding can be effective for countries like China where the focus is getting the virus under control.

Pyburn and Sundberg both said it will take years to develop a vaccine.