One epizootic solved, a zoonotic to go?

While a vaccine for the coronavirus zoonotic — a disease that spreads from animals to people — that started last month in Wuhan will likely remain elusive for this year, a cure for the epizootic — an epidemic among animals — of African swine fever, which broke out in August 2018, may finally be at hand.

According to Bloomberg via Caixin:

Government and academic experts in the U.S. have developed a vaccine against African swine fever that’s proved 100 percent effective, according to the American Society for Microbiology.

Both high and low doses of the vaccine, developed from a genetically modified prior strain of the virus, were effective in pigs when they were challenged 28 days after inoculation, the report said.

“More work needs to be done to meet regulatory requirements ahead of commercialization” of the new vaccine, but the breakthrough is welcome news for the Chinese pork industry, which has been devastated over the past year and a half, as summarized in our 2020 Red Paper.

—Lucas Niewenhuis