Looking down at white piglets, close up, with one looking up at viewer Looking down at white piglets, close up, with one looking up at viewer

FFAR-Funded Research to Prevent African Swine Fever Virus

Manhattan, KS

  • Advanced Animal Systems

African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) is a highly contagious, fatal disease in pigs that spreads rapidly. There is no commercially available treatment or vaccine for the virus, posing a significant threat to United States swine production. The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $1 million Seeding Solutions Grant to Kansas State University (K-State) to develop safe and rapidly deployable vaccines to prevent ASFV. Elanco Animal Health, K-State, Kansas State University Innovation Partners and MEDIAN Diagnostics Inc., provided matching funds for a $2,645,427 total investment.

Jasmine Bruno
Should the virus reach the U.S., outputs from this research could slow the virus’ spread, protect millions of U.S. pigs and safeguard our food supply. Jasmine Bruno, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Director
Cultivating Thriving Production Systems

ASFV has existed in Africa for decades; however, the virus is spreading and was recently detected in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Without a preventative vaccine or treatment, producers’ only control option are enhancing biosecurity, increasing surveillance and quarantining or culling infected pigs. Producers need a way to protect their herds, as losses would be staggering not only for the pork industry, but also for other agriculture commodities that support the industry, like corn and soy.

To address this urgent concern, Dr. Waithaka Mwangi, immunology professor in the Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary at K-State, is developing and validating a vaccine to protect pigs from the virus. Certain proteins inherent within the virus can activate an immune response in swine. This research is identifying which ASFV proteins induce protective immune responses, the optimal dose, the most effective immunization platform and a way to differentiate infected from vaccinated pigs. Additionally, the research team is addressing safety concerns and production constraints that would allow regulatory agencies to approve the use of this vaccine.


Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) builds public-private partnerships to fund bold research addressing big food and agriculture challenges. FFAR was established in the 2014 Farm Bill to increase public agriculture research investments, fill knowledge gaps and complement the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s research agenda. FFAR’s model matches federal funding from Congress with private funding, delivering a powerful return on taxpayer investment. Through collaboration and partnerships, FFAR advances actionable science benefiting farmers, consumers and the environment.

Connect: @FoundationFAR 

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