African swine fever gene research brings new horizons

The head of the Swine Health Information Center says new African swine fever gene research from Europe will be critical to combating the virus in the future.

Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg tells Brownfield “Some work from a German lab, in collaboration with the lab in the UK, identified the genes that are responsible for African swine fever to be able to get into the cells of a pig.”

He says the development could help create resistant pig breeds or new medical therapies, but the application must be practical.

“By and large, I think the U.S. pork producer embraces new technologies, but also with some caution because they aren’t all implementable, they aren’t all cost-effective,” he says.

In the near term, Sundberg says biosecurity efforts that are implementable and affordable have been the most effective in preventing an outbreak.

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