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New vaccine to immunize wild boars against African swine fever

ANI | Updated: May 08, 2019 16:27 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], May 8 (ANI): Wild boar also known as wild swine can be immunized against African swine fever by a new oral vaccine, claim researchers.
"African swine fever is of enormous concern to the pig industry. Our study demonstrates the effectiveness of the first oral vaccine against this disease on Eurasian wild boar. Overall, we demonstrate that oral immunization of wild boar conferred 92% protection against a highly pathogenic strain of African swine fever, which is currently circulating in Asia and Europe," wrote co-author, Dr Jose Angel Barasona in the study published in the Journal of Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
Infected animals can suffer terribly. Symptoms include high fever, depression, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, abortion in pregnant sows, as well as redness of skin on the ears, abdomen and legs. The most virulent, or dangerous, forms of this virus can lead to the death of all those infected.
African swine fever affects more than 55 countries on 3 continents, including China, which contains nearly half of the world's pig population. It is highly contagious and can be spread via contaminated feed and pork products, as well as shoes, clothes, vehicles, knives and equipment. Transmission can also occur by the movement of infected livestock and across wild boar populations. It is this latter form of infection that Barasona and his colleagues hope to prevent.
"The 'shedding' of this vaccine might help amplify vaccination coverage, reducing the need for expensive production and large-scale administration of the vaccine in the field," explains Barasona.
This vaccine, which would be administered in bait to the wild animals, represents considerable progress in the control of African Swine Fever in the wild and, subsequently, at the domestic/wildlife interface. However, Barasona cautions more research is needed before it can be used widely.
If the safety of the vaccine can be established, then it may help mitigate the uncontrolled spread of African swine fever across Europe and Asia. (ANI)