African swine fever (ASF) is caused by a large and complex DNA virus that is able to infect swine. These include wilde swine-species but also domestic pigs. The virus causes hemorrhagic symptoms and is usually lethal in the European wild boar and domestic pigs. In the absence of a vaccine the current disease control is based on 'stamping out ' and sanitary measures. The disease is endemic in Africa, but in the last decades more and more discovered outside the African continent. The Caucasus region has recently been hit by a number of AVP outbreaks and is now believed to be a new endemic region for ASFV. Therefore, in view of the continuing threat of introduction and spread of the virus to Eastern and Western Europe, it is clear that the development of a vaccine is ever more urgent. The research question that this project wishes to answer is whether it is possible with the current technique of software-based prediction of the immunological response against antigens of a pathogen to develop a vaccine to protect against ASF. Part a vaccine that is independent of the several well-known ASF virus strains, but also widely applicable to different types of pigs. There will be a vaccine-challenge animal experiment with a recombinant poxvirus with multiple and different T-and B-cell antigens of ASF. The T-cell antigens are the result of a previous software-based prediction and a subsequent DNA vaccination challenge animal experiment, which showed that vaccinated animals had greater survival rate (80%) than non-vaccinated animals (20%). With the combination of T-and B-cell antigens in a recombinant smallpox virus as a vaccine-carrier it is expected to improve the protection against ASF.
|Effective start/end date
|1/01/16 → 31/12/16