Contact: Juanita Van Heerden (Ph.D); Tel: +27(0)12 529 9524

African swine fever (ASF) is an acute haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs, which causes mortality and morbidity approaching 100%. Currently disease control methods are limited by the capacity of countries to respond to outbreaks in susceptible pigs and lack of a vaccine. Once the optimal vaccine is determined through experimental evaluation, the role of immunity elicited by vaccination as well as natural infection will be investigated. The reason that both vaccination and natural infection will be used is that vaccination does not elicit strong antibody response compared with natural infection. Live attenuated African swine fever virus (ASFV) has been demonstrated to provide protection against ASFV and the importance of CD8+ T cells has been demonstrated with these attenuated viruses. Therefore it is currently hypothesised that cell mediated immunity is important for ASFV protection and a vaccine that stimulates cell mediated immunity may be a successful vaccine.

Project:  Characterization of wild pigs' immune response to African swine fever virus.



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