ASF Eradication Unlikely in Near Future

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Farmscape for January 10, 2023

Full Interview 8:24 Listen

The Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center suggests the development of an effective commercially producible vaccine that can be differentiated will be a key part of any effort to eradicate African Swine Fever. The Swine Health Information Center’s January global swine disease surveillance report indicates African Swine Fever has broken in Czechoslovakia and continues to move in Poland, and Germany and is still present in the western hemisphere in the Dominican Republic and Haiti on the island of Hispaniola. Dr. Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center and a member of the Swine Innovation Porc Coordinated African Swine Fever Research Working Group, says eradication of ASF is something that’s still a long way off.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
One of the very big challenges that we have is still not having a commercially producible vaccine that is effective, it’s safe as well as a vaccinated pig can be differentiated from a pig that had a wild virus infection. Those are still aspirational goals.
We haven’t gotten there yet. There are prototype vaccines that are under development. There’s one in Vietnam that is being tested but even that vaccine is not able to be produced at a commercial scale at this point. It still has very limited production capability so it’s not going to widely available and it will most probably be a vaccine that could be used only regionally or within Vietnam, in that area at least.
So, eradicating ASF in eastern Europe as well as in other areas around the world still is very much aspirational. It still is of high interest but I think we’re a long way away from that.

Meanwhile Dr. Sundberg suggests pork producers in North America need to do everything they can do to keep ASF off of their farms in the event the virus does get into North America.

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