Research carried out in the US has highlighted a potential vaccine candidate for African Swine Fever (ASF).

US agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack has welcomed the research, which was carried out by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) .

“I am proud of the extraordinary research underway at the ARS to develop vaccine candidates to prevent ASF virus,” Secretary Vilsack said.

A number of weeks ago, an ASF outbreak was confirmed in the Dominican Republic, the first outbreak in the Americas in recent times.

The ARS published research last week highlighting a new vaccine candidate that has apparently been shown to prevent and protect both European and Asian-bred swine against the current circulating Asian strain of the virus.

The new vaccine candidate studies show that immunity occurred in approximately one-third of swine by THE second week post-vaccination, with full protection in all swine achieved by the fourth week, according to the USDA.

The vaccine candidate has the ability to be commercially produced while maintaining its vaccine efficacy against Asian ASF virus strains when tested in European and Asian breeds.

“We are excited that our team’s research has resulted in promising vaccine candidates that are able to prevent and protect different swine breeds against the current ASF virus.

“Vaccine candidates could play an important role in controlling the ongoing outbreak threatening global swine health,” said ARS administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young.

The ARS says it will continue to determine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine under commercial production conditions. It is “closely working” with their commercial partner Navetco National Veterinary Joint Stock Company, based in Vietnam.

To date, the ARS has successfully engineered and patented five ASF experimental vaccines and has fully executed seven licenses with pharmaceutical companies to develop the vaccines.