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Exploiting novel African swine fever virus virulence factors and a porcine macrophage cell line to develop a live attenuated vaccine - SE1519

This project is co-funded by BBSRC and Defra. The project is an collaboration between The Pirbright Institute and industry.This LINK project involves a very strong academic-industry partnership to advance commercial development of a live attenuated vaccine for African swine fever virus (ASFV) and gain new scientific knowledge on virus evasion of macrophage response to infection. A vaccine is urgently needed to control the continuing spread of this devastating disease in Africa, Europe and Asia, and secure global protein supplies and the livelihoods of those involved in pig production. The partners are world leaders in ASFV biology applied to vaccine development and macrophage biology including development of cell lines. These academic partners are linked with a leading International Veterinary Vaccine company. The cells and viruses developed provide new scientific opportunities to understand ASFV interactions with macrophages
The specific objectives are:
1) To test different combinations of deletions of the MGF360-12L, MGF505-1R and both EP153R and EP402R genes from the ASFV genotype II Georgia strain by replication in macrophages and by immunisation and lethal challenge experiments in pigs. This will enable selection of ASFV LAVs with optimal safety and efficacy to take forward for commercial development.
2) To characterise a pig macrophage cell line (pMPI) to; a) optimise cell growth and yields of ASFV LAVs for vaccine production and b) establish these cells as a model for studying ASFV host interactions.
3. To scale-up growth of the pMPI cells and prepare a master cell stock and a master seed virus of the selected ASFV LAVs. To use these cells to grow pre-licensing stocks of the selected ASFV LAV candidate vaccine on a commercial scale.
4) To further characterise the ASFV deletion mutants in pMPI and primary macrophage cells in order to provide knowledge underpinning vaccine development and advance scientific knowledge on how ASFV evades the host's defences. The impact of deleting genes MGF360-12L and MGF505-1R on virus replication, sensitivity to type I interferon and activation of host innate immune responses will be defined. The impact of deleting EP153R gene on virus replication, natural killer cell activation and virus persistence in blood will be investigated.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2021

To: 2024

Cost: £68,780
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Fields of Study
Animal Health