Swiss research shows that pigs on farms with a high hygiene and health status are less susceptible to African swine fever. The pigs become less seriously ill and recover faster, reports Agrarheute.
The research was conducted by the Swiss Institute of Virology and Immunology (IVI) in collaboration with the University of Bern. As part of the development of live vaccines, the researchers examined the influence of housing hygiene on African swine fever (ASF) infection. For the study, domestic pigs were infected with an attenuated virus strain in an experiment.
The researchers found that the disease in pigs from a housing system with a high hygiene and health status (SPF farms that are free of specific germs) was less severe and shorter and the pigs recovered completely. In pigs from conventional farms with standard hygiene, the disease lasted longer. The death rate for these pigs was 50 percent.
Significant influence Immune system
An analysis of the immune system of the pigs before and during infection shows that the immune system has a significant influence on the severity of the disease and the inflammatory response. The researchers call the results extremely relevant for the development of vaccines based on live attenuated ASF virus.
The results were obtained under experimental conditions; their practical significance is still unclear, according to the scientists. Until now, there is no vaccine against this animal disease.