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30-10-2012 by IRTA
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Classical Swine Fever (CSF) is a highly contagious viral disease that affects domestic and wild pigs. This is an endemic disease in some countries of Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. The European Union is considered high risk area of re-emergence of the disease due to the high density in the pig population, the non-vaccination policy currently followed and its proximity to Eastern European countries.
The CReSA research on CSF virus (CSFV) is focused on studies of viral immunopathogenesis and viral evolution to develop new diagnostic methods and vaccination strategies. Dr. Llilianne Ganges, investigator of the CReSA on CSFV, summarizes the main results obtained during these 4 years: "We have conducted studies of positive selection pressure of CSFV in an endemic area subject to control by vaccination with the live attenuated vaccine. The results suggest a possible association between viral escape variants and the observed alterations in virulence and pathogenesis of the virus after 20 years of circulation".
In addition, Dr. Ganges says: "We have developed new recombinant vaccines based on dendrimeric peptides, new molecular adjuvants and molecular diagnostic techniques for the rapid detection and quantification of viral nucleic acid. Likewise, others studies developed during the project demonstrated the ability of the E2 glycoprotein of inducing a rapid and strong interferon gamma response that correlates with protection against the CSFV before the induction of neutralizing antibodies."
Moreover, she points out: "The studies carried out have shown the ability of virulent strains to induce a strong response of the type I interferon that correlates with high viral replication in pigs at very short times post infection. Finally, we have identified new viral epitopes involved in protection and that can be of great interest to develop new techniques for serological diagnosis more effective than the existing ones".
This project was funded by the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation (New vaccine strategies against classical swine fever virus. Study of mechanisms involved in viral immunopathogenesis (BIO2008-04487-C03-03). While developing the project, we have collaborated with other institutions such as the University of Lleida (UDL), the Center of Molecular Biology Severo Ochoa (CBMSO, in Madrid), the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF, Barcelona) and the National Center of Agricultural and animal Health (CENSA, in La Habana, Cuba).