November 16, 2023


Australian researchers collaborate with MBF Therapeutics to evaluate ASF vaccine candidate




Australian researchers at the CSIRO Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) have joined forces with United States company MBF Therapeutics to assess the effectiveness of an African swine fever (ASF) vaccine candidate, Farm Journal’s Pork reported.


Under this collaboration, MBF Therapeutics will supply ACDP with an ASF vaccine candidate developed through their T-Max platform. David Williams, an ASF expert at ACDP, said in a CSIRO article that the collaboration aims to understand the swine immune system's response to the vaccine candidates.


The T-Max platform, derived from technology originally designed for immunotherapeutic treatment of human cancer, is designed to eliminate pathogens upon entry into the body. David explained that this not only shields animals from infection but also prevents disease transmission among them.


Vaccine candidates created using the T-Max platform focus on stimulating the T-cells response in the immune system. T-cells, a crucial type of white blood cell in the immune system, play a central role in the adaptive immune response, according to the article.


David highlighted the importance of remaining free from the ASF virus for continued trade. He said if there were an outbreak of ASF virus in Australia, there would likely be an immediate stop to pork exports. The country would implement measures to control the outbreak with the aim of eradicating the virus. To re-establish trading rights, they must again prove that they are free of the disease.


An advantageous aspect of the T-Max platform, as explained by David, is its ability to incorporate markers distinguishing between vaccinated pigs and those naturally infected. Both Australia and the US are currently free of ASF. Given the highly transmissible nature of ASF among swine, the global pork industry faces a significant challenge in developing a safe, effective, and economically viable vaccine against all ASF virus strains. The goal is to ensure scalability and easy adoption by swine producers.


-      Farm Journal's Pork