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African Swine fever vaccine progress in China raises questions

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An African swine fever (ASF) vaccine is proving to be safe and effective in laboratory tests at China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute. But U.S. experts caution that this study has been done on a different strain of ASF than the Georgia 2007 strain circulating in China and parts of Europe.

The institute, which is overseen by the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said the live vaccine with reduced virulence was created from a series of gene-deleted viruses using the country’s first ASF strain as a backbone, Bloomberg reports.

But U.S. experts caution that this study has been done on a different strain of ASF than the Georgia 2007 strain circulating in China and parts of Europe.

According to the article published in the journal, Science China Life Sciences, the virulence, immunogenicity, safety and protective efficacy evaluation in specific-pathogen-free pigs, commercial pigs and pregnant sows indicated that one virus, namely HLJ/18-7GD (which has seven genes deleted), is fully attenuated in pigs, cannot convert to the virulent strain and provides complete protection of pigs against lethal ASFV challenge. 
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