African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV)
At BioAssays, we are developing prototypes of live attenuated vaccines (LAVs) for African Swine Fever (ASF), consisting of recombinant viruses modified from currently circulating strains in Europe and Asia. The development of effective ASFV vaccines is essential to increase the immunity of pig herds, reduce the incidence of ASF and, ultimately, eradicate the disease.
ASF is a devastating, highly infectious disease that affects both warthogs and domestic pigs caused by the ASFV virus for which there is no vaccine. The most virulent strains can cause death of the domestic pig as quickly as 7 days after infection, which represents a significant imbalance in the food chain worldwide, with incalculable financial costs. In no case has it affected humans, so it is not a health issue, but it is a major financial and nutritional problem.
The virus has spread throughout most of the world, although it has been eradicated in many countries, including Spain. However, the disease currently affects countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Sardinia, Eastern Europe and Asia, posing a constant threat to the global swine industry.
In China, a 30% decrease in production is estimated and pork is widely consumed across Asia, so the problem there is of national interest. It is a notifiable veterinary disease that affects border transit and exports in affected countries.
This situation urgently requires the creation of defence tools against this pernicious virus to prevent its expansion in Europe and, in particular, in Spain, the leading European producer of pork.
Project granted by CDTI under the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Spain). Reference SNEO-20161199; and by the Consejería de Educación e Investigación, Community of Madrid. Reference IND2018/BIO-9398.