Shafiqul Chowdhury, DVM, MS, PhD, professor in the Louisiana State University (LSU) Department of Pathobiological Sciences, is developing vaccines against classical swine fever and porcine circo virus, thanks to a $350,230 grant from Ceva.

With this funding, Chowdhury’s laboratory is working to develop vaccines using a pseudorabies virus of swine (a herpes virus of swine associated with respiratory infections) as a vector to express classical swine fever and PCV2 protective antigens. The pseudorabies virus vector being used is a double-gene-deleted virus, so the vaccine virus is attenuated, does not reactivate or recur in the animal, and acts as a marker so veterinarians can distinguish vaccinated animals from infected animals.

Chowdhury’s research project supported by the Ceva funds is entitled, “Construction of a dual gene-deleted (envelope glycoprotein E and thymidine kinase TK-deleted) pseudorabies virus (PRV) expressing classical swine fever envelope protein E2 and porcine circovirus 2b (PCV2b) capsid (CAP) proteins.”

While not currently found in the United States, classical swine fever (hog cholera) exists in Europe and other countries and has a 100 percent mortality rate. Porcine circo virus-2 (PCV2) is strongly associated with the occurrence of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and usually occurs in nursing or young pigs (from 6 weeks of age onward); it also appears to have an association with porcine respiratory disease complex (PRDC) and occasionally with reproductive failure. PCV2-associated diseases have a 70 to 80 percent mortality rates in piglets.