China develops African swine fever vaccine to curb disease that’s nearly halved its pork production

pigterrine
Credit: Appetite

China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, the country’s top research body on animal diseases, said it developed an African swine fever vaccine that laboratory testing has showed is safe and effective.

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

The disease, which is deadly for pigs but isn’t known to harm humans, first broke out in China in 2018. Since then, hog herds in the world’s top consumer and producer of pork have fallen by nearly half as global researchers looked to develop the world’s first African swine fever vaccine.

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