A vaccine against African swine fever (ASF) that is being developed by the local research company may be released by the end of 2023, an official of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) said.
The DOST has tapped veterinary research and diagnostic laboratory BioAssets Corporation to develop ASF test kits that may already be out by the end of this year or in early 2023, DOST Undersecretary Rowena Guevara said.
Guevara, in a GMA News report, said that vaccine for the viral disease infecting pigs and wild boars usually take two years to make.
“The Department of Agriculture has a rule that all the pigs within the one-kilometer radius have to be killed when one pig is infected with ASF. There is also a different rule for pigs within seven kilometers. If we have a detection kit, there is no need to kill all the pigs. Through this, you can now detect which pigs are sick and have to be killed,” Guevara, in the report, added.
BioAssets will also establish a mobile laboratory that will be deployed in Mindanao that will directly go to places with suspected ASF cases to easily test if the hogs are really infected, GMA News reported.
“This mobile laboratory unit will help veterinarians and farmers have diagnostics and respond immediately to the disease outbreak,” the DOST official said.
Reports said five barangays in Zamboanga City last month were placed by authorities in the “red zone” due to confirmed cases of ASF.
In 2021, the DA said the Philippines is coordinating with the United States for the conduct of vaccine trials against ASF.