CHINA, Beijing. A vaccine against African swine fever (ASF) developed in China appears to be making good progress. It is now expected to enter the phase of extended clinical trials and production studies.
According to the Beijing Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday, scientists from the Harbin Veterinary Research Institute at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) vaccinated fattening pigs and sows at 10 to 100 times the immunization dose and found no clinical abnormalities or signs of disease during a 20-week observation period.
Harbin Institute Director Bu Zhigao reported that the piglets grew up normally after vaccination and the sows had a normal heat and pregnancy without miscarriages. In a vaccination trial with 3,000 fattening pigs in biologically secure facilities in three provinces, there were also no abnormalities, according to CAAS director Tang Huajun. The animals were in good growth condition, showed no clinical side effects and there had been no infectious vaccine emissions or horizontal transmissions of the immunised pigs. When different high-dose ASF pathogens were administered, the immune protection rate was at least 80%.
According to the Ministry, CAAS will now further accelerate research. The aim is to increase the scope of clinical trials and complete the studies to obtain the necessary safety clearance and registration for the candidate vaccine.
The Beijing Ministry of Agriculture also announced that the pig population in China has continued to grow. In July, the number of animals increased for the sixth consecutive month, exceeding the previous month's level by 4.8%. For the first time since April 2018, the number of pigs was also higher than in the same month last year, by 13.1%. "This is an important turning point in the restoration of pig production capacity", emphasised the Agriculture Department. According to this, the herd of sows was also further increased in July, by 4% compared to the previous month. The sow population is now expected to exceed the previous year's level by 20%. The ministry did not give any absolute figures.
Source: agrarzeitung.de; AgE