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Research Project: Intervention Strategies to Control and Eradicate Foreign Animal Diseases of Swine

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Title: ASF vaccine candidate ASFV-G-deltaI177l does not exhibit residual virulence in long-term clinical studies

item Borca, Manuel
item Ramirez-Medina, Elizabeth
item Silva, Ediane
item AYUSHI, RAI - Oak Ridge Institute For Science And Education (ORISE)
item Espinoza, Nallely
item Velazquez, Lauro
item Gladue, Douglas

Submitted to: Pathogens
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/4/2023
Publication Date: 6/3/2023
Citation: Borca, M.V., Ramirez Medina, E., Silva, E.B., Ayushi, R., Espinoza, N.N., Velazquez Salinas, L., Gladue, D.P. 2023. ASF vaccine candidate ASFV-G-deltaI177l does not exhibit residual virulence in long-term clinical studies. Pathogens. 12(6).

Interpretive Summary: The recombinant virus ASFV-G-'I177L appears as one of the most promising vaccine candidates for the control of African Swine Fever Virus. Currently, this vaccine is being successfully used in Vietnam, where more than 1,000,000 pigs have been vaccinated. However, a continues evaluation of this vaccine candidate is needed to ensure about its safety in the field. In this study, we conducted a safety test to demonstrate the safety of our vaccine after 180 days post vaccination.

Technical Abstract: African Swine Fever (ASF) is an important disease in swine currently producing a pandemic affecting pig production worldwide. Except in Vietnam, where two vaccines were recently approved for controlled use in the field, no vaccine is commercially available for disease control. Up to now, the most effective vaccines developed are based on the use of live-attenuated viruses. Most of these promising vaccine candidates were developed by deleting virus genes involved in the process of viral pathogenesis and disease production. Therefore, these vaccine candidates were developed via the genomic modification of parental virus field strains, producing recombinant viruses and reducing or eliminating their residual virulence. In this scenario, it is critical to confirm the absence of any residual virulence in the vaccine candidate. This report describes the assessment of the presence of residual virulence in the ASFV vaccine candidate ASFV-G-'I177L in clinical studies conducted under high virus loads and long-term observation periods. The results demonstrated that domestic pigs intramuscularly inoculated with 106 HAD50 of ASFV-G-'I177L did not show the presence of any clinical sign associated with ASF when observed daily either 90 or 180 days after vaccination. In addition, necropsies conducted at the end of the experiment confirmed the absence of macroscopic internal lesions associated with the disease. These results corroborate the safety of using ASFV-G-'I177L as a vaccine candidate.