Vietnam seeks US help to develop vaccine against African swine fever


By Minh Minh, VN Express International 

February 12, 2020


 Vietnam has requested the U.S. to transfer the genetically altered African swine flu virus it has developed to facilitate vaccine production.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is working with a visiting delegation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on cooperation in developing a vaccine against the African swine flu, a deadly incurable disease that is believed not to afflict humans.


The Vietnamese side has asked for samples of the genetically modified African swine fever virus the U.S. has successfully developed to serve the work of making vaccines in Vietnam.


They have also suggested that Vietnamese technical staff are taken to the U.S. or experts from the U.S. visit Vietnam for a joint project on further studies of the disease and production of a vaccine.


Vietnam has also sent to the U.S. 20 separate samples of the African swine fever virus taken from 17 of its provinces so that the U.S. can continue working on the vaccine.


U.S. experts said last month they had developed a vaccine against African swine fever, which was confirmed by their experts at the Vietnam visit that ends Friday.


The vaccine was developed from a genetically modified prior strain of the virus by deleting a previously uncharacterized gene, I177L, to produce complete attenuation of the virus in swine, it was announced.


A report from the American Society for Microbiology said last month that both high and low doses of the vaccine were effective in pigs 28 days after inoculation.


The African swine fever was first detected in Vietnam in February 2019 before it spread to all 63 cities and provinces in the country seven months later, forcing the nation to kill around six million pigs, or 20 percent of the total hog herd...