African swine fever virus is plenty of energy

Dr José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaino gave a seminar the last 18th of March in Bellaterra after visiting CReSA. He talked about the current epidemiological situation of the African swine fever virus (ASFV) in Africa, the Caucasus and the Russian Federation.

Dr. Sánchez Vizcaíno is full Professor at the Department of Animal Health in the Veterinary Faculty of Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His scientific contributions in African swine fever have contributed significantly to diagnosis and disease control.

During his seminar, entitled: "The situation of ASF in Europe and its Future" Dr. Sánchez-Vizcaíno reached several conclusions: 1) that ASFV is currently circulating in Africa with more strength than ever (all known ASFV genotypes are actually present in the continent), therefore increasing the risk of exportation of the virus to other parts of the world. 2) That the last ASFV outbreak declared in Georgia in 2007 (coming from East Africa) has extended to other Caucasian regions and to the Russian federation existing a real threat to become endemic regions. And 3) That the risk of ASFV introduction into the European Union is higher than it was originally predicted, mainly due to infection of the ASFV reservoirs in the wild (wild boars and ticks) and to the large volume of uncontrolled trading of animals and animal products.

Currently, there is no effective vaccine against ASFV and its control is based on rapid diagnosis and slaughter of infected animals. With the main objective of trying to get an effective vaccine to combat the disease, the ASF-research group in CReSA, lead by Dr. Fernando Rodriguez, recently launched a new research project funded by the MICINN (2011-2013), entitled: "Characterization of the Immunological Mechanisms Involved in Protection against African Swine Fever virus (ASFV) and Development of Vaccines Against the virus," coordinated between CReSA and the Universidad de Córdoba (UCO) and the Center for Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa (CBMSO).

To contact the principal researcher of ASF in CReSA:
Dr. Fernando Rodríguez González
Edifici CReSA. Campus UAB
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona) Spain
Phone: +34 93 581 45 62
Fax: +34 93 581 44 90

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