Beyond Buzzwords: Transforming Philippine Agriculture!

ASF vaccine trials show encouraging results

Author: DA Communications Group | 17 May 2022

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar, Assistant Secretary-designate for Livestock and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) Director Reildrin Morales, and Robina Farm Operations Director Dante Palabrica jointly announced the African Swine Fever (ASF) vaccine trial results during a press conference on May 16, 2022.

“In the trial, no clinical signs associated with ASF disease was observed and minimal non-ASF related mortality was posted. A total of 66% of sample animals have detectable antibodies to the ASF virus,” Secretary Dar said.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) collaborated with the Universal Robina Corporation and Dr. Dachrit Nilubol of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand for the “Clinical Study for the Evaluation of ASF Vaccine in Protecting Pigs Against African Swine Fever” conducted from February to May 2022.

The study, implemented at the Robina Farm in Bulacan, aimed at evaluating the safety of the vaccine and determining the ability of the vaccine to induce immune responses following vaccination.

“With the encouraging result of the Phase 1 of the vaccine trial, a Phase 2 is being proposed that will run from May to June 2022. This will involve actual viral challenge of vaccinated animals,” Secretary Dar stated.

The vaccine was subjected to trial and formulated in Thailand. It can be stored in a wide range of temperatures with a shelf life of two to six months.

“Malaking tama ang inabot ng piggery from 2019. Nalimas ang karamihan ng mga baboy sa Pilipinas, especially sa Luzon. Because of this, determinado ang kompanya ng Robina Farms na makagawa ng solusyon dito sa problemang ito. Kaya nag-try kami ng bakuna. Nais kong pasalamatan ang DA at ang BAI na hand in hand kami na pumasok dito sa bakunang ito,” Dr. Palabrica said.

He added that the ASF vaccine is very important for the country’s food security amid the brewing food crisis.

“We want to work with the DA, na mare-populate nang mabilisan ang ating industry upang maibalik ang populasyon ng baboy dito sa Pilipinas,” he said in support of the DA’s hog repopulation program.

Dr. Palabrica is also confident that with the gamechanger ASF vaccine, the country’s hog population could be revived in the next five years.

In addition, Secretary Dar expressed that if the vaccine is proven effective, he will recommend to the president the vaccination of the country’s hog population at the expense of the national government.

The agri chief also stressed that the country must strengthen its biosecurity measures as another long-term solution. ### (Gumamela Celes Bejarin, DA-AFID)

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