VIDO-InterVac Targets Two to Three Years for Development of Safe ASF Vaccine

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Farmscape for June 25, 2020

Full Interview 10:31 Listen

The Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac is hopeful a safe and effective vaccine to protect pigs against African Swine Fever will be available within two to three years. Researchers around the world are using various techniques to develop vaccines to protect pigs from African Swine Fever. The approach being used by VIDO-InterVac involves inserting specific proteins from African Swine Fever into another harmless virus for delivery as a vaccine. VIDO-InterVac Director and CEO Dr. Volker Gerdts says this approach is much safer than methods that use live virus.

Clip-Dr. Volker Gerdts-VIDO-InterVac:
You take certain genes from the African Swine Fever Virus and include them into a harmless virus, in a porcine adenovirus.
Adenoviruses are those viruses that normally don’t cause disease in either humans or animals and so they can function as a vector, as a delivery method for the gene that you’re interested in. By putting genes of the African Swine Fever virus into an adenovirus, you then get them delivered and the adenovirus makes them as part of its own and the immune system of the pig recognises these proteins that belong to the African Swine Fever but are part now of this adenovirus. The advantage is that you stimulate the immune response.

As the same time you don’t have any clinical disease, any complications. You’re not working with the African Swine Fever Virus so it’s a very good way of inducing good protective immune responses without actually using the live African Swine Fever virus.

Dr. Gerdts says VIDO-InterVac has developed more than 35 vaccine candidates that have different combinations of genes from the African Swine Fever virus in the adenovirus that are now being tested. He says there is good indication that adenoviral vectors may work for African Swine Fever and he is hopeful we’ll have a good vaccine within two to three years.

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