As African swine fever spreads across Asia and surrounding areas, many companies are trying to find a solution. Phibro Animal Health Corporation announced it is pursuing patent protection following a significant advance in the on-going development of a vaccine for African swine fever. This important step in the vaccine development process involves the identification of immunogenic epitopes and proteins that show strong potential to form the basis for a vaccine against ASF.
Phibro’s R&D team and its collaborators made this identification through the use of a unique bioinformatics analysis tool in order to select for the highest potential epitopes and proteins capable of eliciting protective immune response.
Phibro’s approach is to create a specific epitope-based vaccine, rather than following the more conventional path of an attenuated live vaccine. If successful, this approach would not only be an effective response to ASF but would result in a vaccine that presents no risk of further spreading the disease.
Jack Bendheim, Phibro’s Chairman, President, and CEO, commented, “ASF’s decimation of China’s swine population represents not just a crisis for the entire swine husbandry industry but, more importantly, a food security crisis for mankind. The identification of this group of peptides and proteins is a key milestone in Phibro’s pursuit of a solution for this devastating disease. While we still have much work ahead of us, we have made important progress toward reaching that goal and we take pride in potentially being part of the solution to such an urgent problem.”
According to the Pork Checkoff, “African swine fever virus is a contagious viral disease impacting only pigs, not people, so it is not a public health threat or food safety concern. The World Organization for Animal Health considers African swine fever to be a trade limiting foreign animal disease of swine. Countries with confirmed cases are subject to international trade restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of introduction of the disease through trade.”