Going for a breakout? Russia may be the first in the world to develop a vaccine against swine fever
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Going for a breakout? Russia may be the first in the world to develop a vaccine against swine fever

4 September , 19:27Science
Against the backdrop of the coronavirus epidemic, the world has forgotten about another virus that is spreading with an ominous speed. African swine fever (ASF) has spread to many countries today, including Russia.

Our scientists claim that the domestic vaccine against ASF should appear by the end of 2021 - earlier than in other countries.

Irina Mishina

На зараженной АЧС территории уничтожению подлежат все животные.

African swine fever has affected many EU countries, China and the United States today. This virus came to Russia in 2007. It seems that a new surge of this disease has now begun. Let's make a reservation right away: the ASF virus is not dangerous for humans, it infects animals and causes serious damage to agriculture. African swine fever is a viral disease that affects all pigs. As of today, this virus does not respond to treatment. The only way out is the complete destruction of infected animals in the territory affected by the virus.

Now, apparently, a new wave has begun. So, the veterinary committee under the government of the Kaluga region reports on the outbreak of ASF . The disease was detected in the Przemysl district of the region. The corpses of animals were burned, sanitary work was carried out on the spot. On September 1, the results of the study confirmed the presence of ASF virus in the dead animals. Previously, foci of African plague were identified in Baryatinsky, Spas-Demensky and Mosalsky regions...

In Poland in 2020, the African swine fever virus has affected many farms. The number is expected to grow. Most of them are subsidiary farms, but the risk of contamination of industrial farms is increasing. According to official figures , most of the infected farms are located in Eastern Poland, the rest are in provinces bordering Germany.

The first outbreaks of the African plague appeared in 1921 in Kenya. Then, in the middle of the 20th century, the ASF virus began to infect European countries: Portugal, Spain, France, Italy ... The virus reached Russia in 2007. A vaccine - the only way to overcome ASF - has been invented for a long time in many countries, but, unfortunately, so far no one has succeeded.

“The ASF virus is very complex, it has not yet been fully studied in biology. This vaccine has been developed in Russia for a long time, and there is a chance that it will appear earlier than in other countries and will be reliable. The Spanish made an ASF vaccine based on the components of the virus, but it is not safe. We are now on a different path, "- said" NO " head. laboratory of genetics of viruses of the Federal Research Center of Virology and Microbiology in Vladimir Galina Koltsova.

The question arises, where in the world, besides Russia, are vaccine developments taking place. First of all, China is interested in this vaccine, where ASF is rampant. The vaccine is important for European countries with developed pig production, as well as for the United States. In general, ASF is a very serious economic problem. It is expensive to burn and dispose of sick animals. There is only one way out in solving the problem: a vaccine. “By the way, if we really create it, it will be a breakthrough in microbiology and virology. The fact is that the ASF virus is unique, there are few such viruses. If we create this vaccine, we can treat many types of viruses. This vaccine can become a kind of model”, - explained the head. laboratory of viruses, Federal Research Center of Virology and Microbiology Galina Koltsova.

Проблема АЧС в России вышла уже на государственный уровень.

In Russia, the problem of the total destruction of livestock in connection with ASF has reached the state level: during an online meeting with the rector of the Moscow Veterinary Academy Sergei Pozyabin, the head of the Fair Russia party Sergei Mironov spoke about the complaints of Russians about the destruction of pigs on small farms and in personal subsidiary plots. farms. “When the livestock is destroyed, subsidiary farms and farmers are paid a small compensation: about 100 rubles per kilogram at the market price of pork at 300 rubles per kilogram,” the politician said.

В социальных сетях описывают случаи истребления животных в мелких фермерских хозяйствах в случае их отказа входить в крупные агрохолдинги.

Indeed, the problem of the extermination of pigs under the pretext of ASF infection has already acquired a political connotation. “The African plague is not that simple. We often hear complaints from farmers about the destruction of pigs in small farms, which are initiated by large agro-industrial complexes in the event of a refusal to join them. In fact, large agricultural holdings have declared war on small farms and, under the guise of the African plague, simply initiated the extermination of livestock. In fact, the threat of ASF can kill a small business in the countryside, ”says biologist Veniamin Zaitsev-Friedshand.

Indeed, there are quite a few creepy stories about this topic on social media. Farmers' stories cannot leave you indifferent.

“First they go, rewrite around the courtyards, who has how many pigs. After they come in with the policemen, at best, they show the decree of the governor of the Voronezh region for slaughter without a signature, and that's it. They threaten with a fine of 50,000 in case of disobedience. Those houses that were not allowed in come the next day with the prosecutor. Threats, intimidation and criminal liability. People cannot resist the "power" and give up their animals".

“In the Bogucharsky district in the village. Dyachenkovo, according to fellow villagers, a man hanged himself. More than 100 pigs were taken from him, for which he took out a loan of one and a half million. The animals were healthy".

“The punishers came to us at 12 o'clock in the morning, we had three sows and a boar. The pigs were asleep, the orderly came, gave everyone an injection ... Vaska fell first, then Masha began to fall. My wife cries all the way down the street, tears choke me when I saw piglets beating in their stomachs, dead sows were jumping up and down, after a few minutes the pigs were quiet. They loaded them into a tractor bucket, weighed them one by one, the boar weighed 260 kg, and the sows weighed about 300 kg. Each breed was different and would have farrowed in two weeks. That's how it was in our village. Meadow Bogucharsky district".

“The soul hurts for people, they don't just take their cattle, but take away tomorrow! The peasant feeds himself, but here it is. They write that they will buy pigs for next to nothing ... And take them to stew to meat processing plants. The factories will get cheap raw materials quite well. They want to build a huge pig-breeding complex in Boguchar and at the same time they refer to the governor. This is how the competition is removed".

Vaccine development - commissioned by a government commission. Several scientific groups have been created in the country, among which, in particular, the Moscow Veterinary Academy and the Federal State Budgetary Institution Research Center of Virology and Microbiology in the Vladimir Region, well-known throughout the country. "The instruction to develop a vaccine against ASF was given by the Ministry of Agriculture on the basis of a letter from the Ministry of Education and Science in accordance with the Decree of the Government Commission," the Research Department of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine told us.

директор Федерального исследовательского центра вирусологии и микробиологии Денис Колбасов считает разработку вакцины против АЧС проблемой не только научной, но и социально-экономической.

“Why do we need an ASF vaccine? First of all, this is a socio-economic problem. If this disease is registered in some territory, a ban is imposed on the export of pork. That is, the presence of the disease affects the socio-economic status of the region, ”explains Doctor of Veterinary Sciences, Professor, Director of the Federal Research Center for Virology and Microbiology Denis Kolbasov . “In addition, the situation is now worsening, especially in small farms, there are outbreaks of diseases, the rules and norms for keeping animals are violated”.

We asked Denis Kolbasov whether the vaccination would be paid or at the expense of the budget. “Perhaps both options will be considered”, - he suggested.

But vaccination of pigs can become a completely commercial undertaking that will more than pay off the budget invested in its creation. It is also possible that Russia's accession to the WTO imposes certain obligations on the nature of pig products. Well, and the third is scientific interest: according to scientists, Russia has advanced further than other countries in the development of a vaccine against ASF. In the scientific department of the Moscow Veterinary Academy, we were informed that their scientists will join the creation of a vaccine only at the moment of its testing. The representative of the MBA scientific department did not deny that Russia has every chance of being the first to create a vaccine against African swine fever. At the same time, she stressed: "But the main developers are not us".

The main center for the development of the Russian vaccine against ASF is located in the Vladimir region. There are different stories about the Research Center for Virology and Microbiology located there. Some even recall the Soviet times, when this institute produced something like bacteriological weapons... One way or another, now they are engaged in complex vaccines.

“According to the plan, we are really coordinators of the complex research that is being carried out on the manufacture of this vaccine. At the Center we have ASF strains from the collection, the other part of the strains was obtained during research. They make it possible to protect animals from death when affected by the African plague. We have a lot of experience working with this particular virus. And we have made enough progress in this direction. If outbreaks of ASF begin, it will be possible to protect animals not only in large agricultural holdings, but also in small farms”, - said to NI the head of laboratory of genetics of viruses of the Federal Research Center of Virology and Microbiology Galina Koltsova.

As usual, with the announcement of the creation of a vaccine, we, as always, were in a hurry. But there is a chance that in this case, on the basis of serious research carried out according to all international standards, an important discovery will indeed be made that will save hundreds of farms and thousands of animals around the world.

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