April 11, 2024


Kansas State University, US receives US$1 million grant to develop ASF vaccine



Kansas State University (K-State) in Kansas, US, has been awarded a US$1 million grant from the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) to spearhead the development of safe and swiftly deployable vaccines to combat the African swine fever (ASF) virus, Farm Journal's Pork reported.


The project, supported by matching funds from Elanco Animal Health, K-State, Kansas State University Innovation Partners, and MEDIAN Diagnostics, Inc., boasts a total investment of US$2,645,427.


Jasmine Bruno, FFAR's scientific programme director, emphasised the significance of this initiative in safeguarding millions of US swine and ensuring the resilience of the nation's food supply in the event of an ASF outbreak reaching the US.


With ASF detected in over 50 countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa, the threat looms large, prompting a pressing need for pre-emptive measures to shield the US swine herd from the devastating impacts of this virulent disease.


Addressing the urgency, Waithaka Mwangi, an immunology professor at K-State's Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, is leading efforts to develop and validate a vaccine capable of conferring protection against ASF in swine.


The research focuses on identifying specific proteins within the ASF virus that stimulate an immune response in swine. By pinpointing these proteins, the team aims to optimise vaccine dosage, select the most effective immunisation platform, and devise strategies for distinguishing between vaccinated and infected pigs.


Moreover, the project is dedicated to addressing safety concerns and production limitations critical for regulatory approval of the vaccine. Without a preventive vaccine or treatment, producers are left with limited control options, making the development of an effective vaccine imperative to mitigate potential losses and fortify the resilience of the pork industry and its associated agricultural sectors.


-      Farm Journal's Pork

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