Research declares ASF vaccine safe and effective

08-06 | |
The USDA's Agricultural Research Service has approved the ASF vaccine. - Photo: Dreamstime
The USDA's Agricultural Research Service has approved the ASF vaccine. - Photo: Dreamstime

After the completion of independent scientific reviews, the US Department of Agriculture’s ‘Agricultural Research Service’ has confirmed the NAVET-ASFVAC vaccine is safe and effective. Progress in achieving approval has been steady this year.

NAVET-ASFVA, the world’s first commercial vaccine for African Swine Fever (ASF), is made by the National Veterinary Medicine Joint Stock Company. Immunity lasts 6 months.

In a press conference on June 1, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development explained that research and production of the vaccine in collaboration with US experts had started in early 2020.

Cooperation on research and production

This follows the successful development in the US in 2019 of a genetically modified ASF virus that would facilitate vaccine production. In late November 2019, Vietnam reached out to the US to discuss cooperation on research and production of a vaccine in Vietnam. Five months later, Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development allowed the import of the modified virus.

We have been very quick to approach research achievements of the United States, along with the active participation of state management agencies, domestic scientists and especially the participation of enterprises

“Since the outbreak of ASF appeared in Vietnam, the Secretariat, the National Assembly, the Government and the Prime Minister have directed the drastic and synchronous implementation of prevention and control solutions, and organised research and production of preventive vaccines,” stated Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien on June 1. “We have been very quick to approach research achievements of the United States, along with the active participation of state management agencies, domestic scientists and especially the participation of enterprises.”

The Ministry has also now granted ‘a circulation permit’ for the vaccine.

Collaborative effort integral

On June 5, US ambassador to Vietnam Marc Knapper stated in a ceremony that “this collaborative effort, involving all levels of government, was integral to the development of the vaccine and served as an example for future cooperation. I wish to thank the scientists from both of our countries for making this possible and the regulators whose diligent work reviewing the science assures an effective vaccine.”

6 million pigs dead in Vietnam

Vietnam News reports that after ASF was first detected there in February 2019, it quickly spread to all 63 cities and provinces in the country. In Vietnam alone, the disease caused the deaths or forced euthanasia of about 6 million pigs. This represented 20% of the national herd with financial losses totalling about US$ 1.3 billion (€ 1.2 billion).

2 more vaccines against ASF), developed by AVAC Vietnam Co. and Dabaco Group, are expected to be licensed in Vietnam by the end of this year.

Rapid test in development

Meanwhile, earlier this year, Purdue University in Indiana received a $ 1 million grant to create a rapid paper-based test for ASF.

Professor Mohit Verma is working with other Purdue scientists to develop the test, which is similar to the tests he and various colleagues have already created to detect Covid-19 and Bovine Respiratory Disease.

The test is expected to detect the ASF virus within 30 minutes and will show results through an easy-to-see colour change on a paper strip.

ASF global

ASF cases continue to pop up around the world. France is now on high alert after the discovery of a new case on a farm in Germany at less than 10 km from the French border.

Hein
Treena Hein Correspondent


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