Laboratory diagnosis, epizootiology and efficacy of marker vaccines in classical swine fever: a review

A.J. de Smit

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    Detection of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) can be achieved by a range of assays of which the most commonly used are: immunohistochemical and virus culture techniques. New developments have enabled the detection of viral proteins by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and the detection of the viral genome by RT- PCR. So far, laboratory findings show that the latter assays may supplement or replace the conventional techniques in the near future. The detection of serum antibody against structural and non-structural proteins of CSFV has been improved by developments in recombinant DNA techniques and has lead to a range of ELISAs. Although the characteristics of these ELISAs are excellent, positive results still need to be confirmed in the virus neutralization test. The available amount of sequence data enables diagnosticians to type strains of CSFV as different by comparing several parts of the genome. In some cases, this can provide conclusive evidence if a primary or secondary outbreak has been detected. Increased efforts focused on the retrieval of relevant data on the introduction of CSFV in a pig holding and the spread of CSFV in- and between pig holding(s) has generated more insight into the epizootiology of the disease. A successful control and eradication programme for classical swine fever (CSF) can consist of zoosanitary measures and/or vaccination. The latter can compromise the export of live pigs and pig products considerably unless marker vaccines have been used. Several studies were performed to determine the efficacy of an E2 subunit vaccine and live recombinant vaccine candidates. Firstly, we determined the 95% protective dose of an E2 subunit vaccine at 32 μg E2 per dosage after a single application. Further studies with a single administration of the subunit vaccine showed that: the vaccine was stable for a prolonged period after production, was able to reduce horizontal and vertical transmission of CSFV among vaccinated pigs, and provided protection for at least 6 months. An Erns antibody discriminatory assay was developed for use in combination with the subunit vaccine. Evaluation of the E(rns) ELISA showed that the sensitivity of the assay was lower than but that the specificity was equal to that of existing antibody assays. Two live recombinant marker vaccines were evaluated for the induction of clinical protection and reduction of transmission of CSFV shortly after vaccination. Results showed that these vaccines provided good clinical protection 1 week after a single vaccination. Research has shown that marker vaccines can be used in the future to support the control and eradication of CSFV.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)182-188
    JournalVeterinary Quarterly
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

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