African Swine Fever vaccine development

Project Team: Suresh Tikoo, Sandy Ndlovu, Barinder Singh, Smitri Chand

African swine fever (ASF) is an incurable contagious viral disease of pigs, with a near-100% mortality rate. This disease is currently found in parts of Asia, Africa, and Europe and in 2021 spread to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The recent ASF outbreaks have increased global efforts to stop the spread of the virus. As part of this, we are developing a viral vectored vaccine that incorporates several ASF genes. As a two-pronged approach, our team is also identifying antiviral compounds that could be administered to pigs to prevent viral replication and to stop the spread of the virus.

To facilitate this research the team is developing a continuous porcine cell line to evaluate virus-host interactions that could be used to produce live attenuated ASF vaccines. We are also establishing a challenge model for ASF at VIDO. This model will allow us to contribute with our global collaborators to assess the effectiveness of vaccines, antivirals and other treatments in pigs, as well as explore diagnostic methods.

VIDO is the only non-government organization in Canada with permission from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to work with the ASF virus (in vitro and in vivo).

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