November 20, 2020


Vietnam optimistic to have African swine fever vaccine ready by 2021



Vietnam's Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, said that the country may have a vaccine for African swine fever (ASF) ready by next year following optimistic small-scale test results.


Cuong told the National Assembly meeting on November 16 that Vietnam has also created a "bank of African swine fever viruses" that can be used for future research.


"Initial vaccine tests on small scales have provided optimistic results. According to reports from experts and businesses in charge of technology transference, Vietnam might have a vaccine for African swine fever by the third quarter of 2021 if conditions allow," Cuong said.


"Research institutions have also bred certain pigs with antibodies against the African swine fever, from which they selected 85 pigs that survived in major outbreak hotspots. The disease-resistant breeds would prove to be an important factor in dealing with African swine fever.


"Scientists have also focused on sequencing the genes of the virus for vaccine research, performing epidemiological studies to create bio-safety procedures and disease prevention methods, and produced bio-products in pig farming to boost their immune system and curb diseases."


Vietnam has requested from the United States to transfer genetically altered samples of the ASF virus in February, which the US developed to facilitate vaccine production. US experts earlier said they had developed a vaccine against ASF, which was developed from a genetically modified virus strain to produce complete attenuation of the virus in swine.


African swine fever first appeared in Vietnam in February 2019, in the northern Hai Duong province before spreading to 63 cities and provinces in the country. The outbreaks have caused around six million pigs to be culled, amounting to over 340,000 tonnes or 9% of Vietnam's total pig numbers.


 - VN Express