Vaccine Projects

Evaluation of a Classical Swine Fever virus plant-made biobetter subunit vaccine 

Classical Swine Fever (CSF) is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease in swine causing substantial economic losses to the swine industry worldwide. The disease is caused by the CSF virus (CSFv), a member of the Pestivirus genus within the Flaviviridae family. Although CSF was eradicated in the U.S. in 1978, it is still present in neighboring regions (Central and South America) as well as in Europe and Asia. The accidental or intentional release of CSFv into the U.S. swine population is a high food security threat and thus continues to be considered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a high-priority disease. In the event of an outbreak, a strong countermeasure plan should include a rapid vaccination program to respond and control the disease.

Currently available vaccines include live attenuated virus vaccines and subunit vaccines. Live attenuated virus vaccines can be efficient at triggering rapid animal immune response and protecting swine populations when combined with culling of infected pigs. However, such vaccines do not allow the Differentiation of Infected from Vaccinated Animals (DIVA) and are therefore not desired vaccine candidates. More importantly, live attenuated virus vaccines are not approved in the U.S. Therefore, the development of DIVA compatible and efficacious vaccination solutions remains a top priority to prevent the economic impacts of a CSF outbreak including supply reductions, export restrictions and food security.

This program will create a biobetter vaccine by enhancing the quality and efficacy of a CSF subunit vaccine by improving thermal stability of the antigen, and improving antigen presentation and release. These advancements at the molecular level are designed to promote long-lasting protection after a single injection in the long term and offer the capability to differentiate infected from vaccinated animals. Read more.

RNA Particle Vaccines as a Platform for Food and Mouth Disease Outbreak Preparedness

The purpose of this project is to develop a panel of alphavirus replicon RNA particle-based vaccines to protect against Foot and Mouth Disease. These vaccine candidates will be tested in swine to confirm acceptable immunogenicity. Optimization of manufacturing conditions will ensure that each candidate vaccine can be prepared at a scale and cost consistent with standard swine vaccines.  This project integrates with other DHS-funded work being conducted at Harrisvaccines by sharing molecular tools and access to reagents, laboratory assays, and scientific guidance. Read more.