Protection of European domestic pigs from virulent African isolates of African swine fever virus by experimental immunisation

African swine fever (ASF) is an acute haemorrhagic disease of domestic pigs for which there is currently no vaccine. We showed that experimental immunisation of pigs with the non-virulent OURT88/3 genotype I isolate from Portugal followed by the closely related virulent OURT88/1 genotype I isolate could confer protection against challenge with virulent isolates from Africa including the genotype I Benin 97/1 isolate and genotype X Uganda 1965 isolate. This immunisation strategy protected most pigs challenged with either Benin or Uganda from both disease and viraemia. Cross-protection was correlated with the ability of different ASFV isolates to stimulate immune lymphocytes from the OURT88/3 and OURT88/1 immunised pigs.

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