China makes progress in creating ASF vaccine
Scientists at the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute are about to put an African swine fever (ASF) vaccine into expanded clinical tests after studies at an early stage have found it to be safe, announced the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China in a statement on its website.
About 3,000 piglets and fattening sows have been inoculated with a dose of 10 to 100 times the proposed immunization dose. The researchers found no clinical abnormalities or signs of disease, no transmission of the vaccine virus or adverse growth and reproductive effects during a 20-week observation phase.
"The immunized animals are in good growth conditions and have no obvious clinical adverse reactions," said the ministry, citing Tang Huajun, president of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences. The experimental vaccine generated at least 80% immunological protection depending on the dose administered, according to the research, which was conducted in biosafety facilities in Heilongjiang, Henan and Xinjiang from April to June. The Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences will continue to accelerate research to obtain the necessary safety clearance and registration for the candidate vaccine, the ministry said. China's pork production, estimated by Euromonitor International at a retail value of $ 118 billion in 2018, was devastated by African swine fever since.
The disease spread from Africa across Europe and Asia, reaching first China - which had about half the world's pig herd - in 2018. The number of pigs produced in China fell 38% from 2017 to 2019, according to the United States Department of Agriculture United (USDA).
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