Today was held the first Kick off Meeting of the project VACDIVA at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM).
The VACDIVA Project, which will last the following four years, aims to develop an effective vaccine against African Swine Fever (ASF). The vaccine would solve the current problem in Europe and the countries affected by the disease.
The VACDIVA project has been financed with 10 million euros by the European Union (EU) in the call “H2020-SFS-2019-1, topic: A vaccine against African Swine Fever”. The research works involve two international reference laboratories for ASF. Two international ASF reference laboratories, both of them Spanish, will participate in the development of this project: the Centre for Veterinary Health Surveillance (VISAVET) of the University Complutense and the Animal Health Research Centre (CISA-INIA) of the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology.
Additionally, six national UE laboratories (from the 10 countries currently affected by ASF), four prestigious ASF research centers and two leader companies in vaccine´s production and ASF diagnostic kits.
The Rector of the UCM, Joaquín Goyache Goñi, has welcomed the VACDIVA project and the researchers composing the consortium, as well as the European Union representatives at the Kick off Meeting.
Then, Professor José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno Full Professor of the Veterinary Faculty of the UCM, who is the project coordinator, has been in charge of the Kick off Meeting, which will be taking place today and tomorrow (18-19 November) in the VISAVET Center of the Veterinary Faculty of the UCM.
The Kick off Meeting will be attended by the Advisory Committee, consisting of the University of Lisbon, the Medicines Agency, STAR-IDAX IRC/OIE, the Cornell University, the University of Iowa, and the European Association of Pig Producers and the International Council for Hunting and Wildlife Conservation (CIC).
The purpose of the event is to launch the project, as well as to encourage communication between the different participants and share the progress made to date and future plans. This meeting will address key points such as the current situation of ASF and the different vaccine prototypes that will be carried out in VACDIVA, the planning of the experiments and trials contemplated in the project or the aspects related to the coordination, management, and communication, among other points.
Tomorrow, the experts will meet again at the VISAVET Center to continue the meeting with a session that will include the discussion of the different work packages and a general assembly at the end of the day.
Next friday 29th of November, Sandra Barroso Arévalo will defend her PhD Thesis "Epidemiological and molecular analysis of the main pathogens of Apis mellifera and their importance in triggering colony losses" directed by professors Joaquín Goyache Goñi & José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno.
The event will take place at 12.00 in the Degrees Room of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Complutense University of Madrid.
The number of honey bees has been in constant and progressive decline since the second half of the twentieth century. These insects play a key role as pollinators and in the maintenance of global biodiversity. Colony losses include two kind of phenomena. The first one is “Colony collapse disorder” (CCD), which consists of a rapid decrease in bee population, but honey/breeding/pollen stores remain adequate and bees do not show disease symptoms. The second one is winter mortality after wintering. In addition to the impact on the beekeeping sector, colony losses also affect food production, environmental sustainability and ecosystems.
New research article published in Pathogens
Since September 2018, nearly 900 notifications of classical swine fever (CSF) have been reported in Gifu Prefecture (Japan) affecting domestic pig and wild boar by the end of August 2019. To determine the epidemiological characteristics of its spread, a spatio-temporal analysis was performed using actual field data on the current epidemic. The spatial study, based on standard deviational ellipses of official CSF notifications, showed that the disease likely spread to the northeast part of the prefecture. A maximum significant spatial association estimated between CSF notifications was 23 km by the multi-distance spatial cluster analysis. A space-time permutation analysis identified two significant clusters with an approximate radius of 12 and 20 km and 124 and 98 days of duration, respectively. When the area of the identified clusters was overlaid on a map of habitat quality, approximately 82% and 75% of CSF notifications, respectively, were found in areas with potential contact between pigs and wild boar. The obtained results provide information on the current CSF epidemic, which is mainly driven by wild boar cases with sporadic outbreaks on domestic pig farms. These findings will help implement control measures in Gifu Prefecture.
Next tuesday 5th of November, Cristina Jurado Díaz will defend her PhD Thesis "New strategies for the control and eradication of African swine fever" directed by Prof. José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Dr. Lina Mur and Prof. Beatriz Martínez López.
The event will take place at 12:00 in the auditorium of the VISAVET Center of the UCM (how to get there).
Title: Risk of African swine fever virus introduction into the United States through smuggling of pork in air passenger luggage
African swine fever causes substantial economic losses in the swine industry in affected countries. Traditionally confined to Africa with only occasional incursions into other regions, ASF began spreading into Caucasian countries and Eastern Europe in 2007, followed by Western Europe and Asia in 2018. Such a dramatic change in the global epidemiology of ASF has resulted in concerns that the disease may continue to spread into disease-free regions such as the US. In this study, we estimated the risk of introduction of ASF virus into the US through smuggling of pork in air passenger luggage. Results suggest that the mean risk of ASFV introduction into the US via this route has increased by 183.33% from the risk estimated before the disease had spread into Western Europe or Asia. Most of the risk (67.68%) was associated with flights originating from China and Hong Kong, followed by the Russian Federation (26.92%). Five US airports accounted for >90% of the risk. Results here will help to inform decisions related to the design of ASF virus surveillance strategies in the US.
Jurado C., Mur L., Perez-Aguirreburualde MS., Cadenas-Fernández E., Martínez-López B., Sánchez-Vizcaíno JM and Pérez A.
Outreach article published in the magazine porciNews (porcino.info)
African Swine Fever (ASF), the greatest threat to the swine sector worldwide, has spread to more than 55 countries on three continents and is estimated to affect more than 77% of the world's swine population.
African Swine Fever is one of the viral diseases with the greatest impact on the pig sector, as viruelt strains of the virus can cause acute or even hyperacute haemorrhagic fever in animals, with mortality of up to 100%. Due to its devastating socio-economic consequences and its effects on animal health, ASF is classified as a Notifiable Disease to the OIE.
Risk of Introduction of Infectious Animal Diseases for Europe Based on the Health Situation of North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula is an open access research article.
On September 13, the Institute of Animal Science (IAS), Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), from Beijing, China visited the SUAT group led by Prof. JM Sánchez-Vizcaíno. The visit took place at VISAVET, where José Ángel Barasona and Estefanía Cadenas-Fernández (members of the group) exposed the most recent aspects of African Swine Fever.