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Clin Vaccine Immunol. 2016 Nov 4;23(11):888-900. Print 2016 Nov.

Induction of Robust Immune Responses in Swine by Using a Cocktail of Adenovirus-Vectored African Swine Fever Virus Antigens.

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Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA
Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
Department of Poultry Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA.
Zoetis, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA.
Plum Island Animal Disease Center, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, Greenport, New York, USA.


The African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes a fatal hemorrhagic disease in domestic swine, and at present no treatment or vaccine is available. Natural and gene-deleted, live attenuated strains protect against closely related virulent strains; however, they are yet to be deployed and evaluated in the field to rule out chronic persistence and a potential for reversion to virulence. Previous studies suggest that antibodies play a role in protection, but induction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) could be the key to complete protection. Hence, generation of an efficacious subunit vaccine depends on identification of CTL targets along with a suitable delivery method that will elicit effector CTLs capable of eliminating ASFV-infected host cells and confer long-term protection. To this end, we evaluated the safety and immunogenicity of an adenovirus-vectored ASFV (Ad-ASFV) multiantigen cocktail formulated in two different adjuvants and at two immunizing doses in swine. Immunization with the cocktail rapidly induced unprecedented ASFV antigen-specific antibody and cellular immune responses against all of the antigens. The robust antibody responses underwent rapid isotype switching within 1 week postpriming, steadily increased over a 2-month period, and underwent rapid recall upon boost. Importantly, the primed antibodies strongly recognized the parental ASFV (Georgia 2007/1) by indirect fluorescence antibody (IFA) assay and Western blotting. Significant antigen-specific gamma interferon-positive (IFN-γ+) responses were detected postpriming and postboosting. Furthermore, this study is the first to demonstrate induction of ASFV antigen-specific CTL responses in commercial swine using Ad-ASFV multiantigens. The relevance of the induced immune responses in regard to protection needs to be evaluated in a challenge study.

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