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New White Book launched by MERIAL at recent Asian Pig Veterinary
Society Congress, Manila, Philippines
During the 2nd Congress of the Asian Pig Veterinary Society Congress
(19 & 20 September 2005) held at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel, Manila, a Corporate
Symposium was organised by MERIAL on classical swine fever (better
known in the Philippines as hog cholera). The Symposium focussed on a pig disease
that continues to present challenges to veterinary scientists, practitioners and
pig farmers throughout Asia.
We cannot forget that hog cholera is an old disease that continues
to be a scourge to the Asian pig industry. CSF inflicts serious economic losses
in control efforts, pig production and also lost trade opportunities. To date CSF
has defied attempts by most Asian veterinary authorities to eradicate it.
So three renowned scientists particularly well suited to speak about three different
aspects of CSF control were invited to address Merial invitees: Dr. Joris Vandeputte
(Trivarop, Colfontaine, Belgium), Dr. Jeroen Dewulf (Faculty
of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium) and Dr. Ng Fook Kheong(Agri-Food
& Veterinary Authority of Singapore). In his presentation, Dr.
Vandeputte traced the history of the European eradication program and the lessons
that Asia can derive from the European experience. The experience of the EU countries
demonstrated that with highly effective vaccines combined with effective identification
of swine, control of animal movement, early diagnosis and rapid elimination of infected
herds, eradication of CSF is possible. Dr. Vandeputte spoke with the authority that
can only come from experience, as he was one of the scientists that contributed
to the early eradication efforts in the European Union.
While the epidemiology of the disease in endemic parts of Asia can be comparable
to the EU prior to eradication from several aspects, there are many factors –
political, economic, social and geographical - that are unique to Asia. Dr. Ng posed
the question of whether the countries of South East Asia should aspire to eradicate
or merely control the disease. He highlighted the many basic requirements
that need to be put in place before eradication can be envisaged. Dr. Ng discussed
the realities that veterinary authorities, scientists as well as farmers would have
to face while making ambitious plans for eradication. As a scientist from the Veterinary
Authority in Singapore, Dr. Ng is in a unique position to discuss the constraints
faced by South East Asian Governments in an undertaking of this nature.
Dr. Jeroen Dewulf epitomises the cutting edge of scientific research into hog cholera.
Dr. Dewulf discussed the epidemiology, concentrating on between and within herd
transmission. Drawing on his research findings, he discussed the important requirements
for vaccinal control of hog cholera. The unique feature of Dr. Dewulf’s studies
was the use of experimentally infected pigs in the transmission of the virus unlike
previous studies which used inoculation of the virus as a method of challenge. In
his trials on in-contact transmission of the virus, Dr. Dewulf re-affirmed that
the modified live C strain vaccine (PESTIFFA®) is protective
as early as 4 days after vaccination; it was also found to successfully prevent
the excretion and transmission of the virulent virus used as challenge.
The three speakers brought in by MERIAL impressed the “standing-room only” audience
with their knowledge, experience and new research updates on this “old disease”.
In conjunction with the symposium, MERIAL also launched one of its now well-known
“White Books”, the second in the series on Classical swine fever.
This one is appropriately titled “Classical Swine Fever: Old Disease, New
Challenges”. All the Merial Symposium speakers contributed chapters
to the book; free of the time constraints imposed on oral presentations, the articles
contain a wealth of detail that could not be addressed during the symposium.
In addition to articles by the invited speakers, there are two other articles in
the White Book contributed by Dr. Guillermo Risatti from the University
of Connecticut, USA and his co-authors, and Dr. Sanipa SURADHAT
from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand and her co-authors.
Dr. Risatti and his co-workers conducted a series of experiments evaluating the
efficacy of the marker (killed) vaccines against CSF using PESTIFFA®
as the reference modified live vaccine. Both groups of researchers from different
parts of the world tested and confirmed the rapid protective response of PESTIFFA®
within 4 days to one week after vaccination. Part of the work of Dr. Risatti et
al., concerning the clinical, haematological, virological and serological parameters
of PESTIFFA® is published in this new White Book. Of interest
too is the correlation between E2 blocking ELISA and serum neutralisation tests
for the detection of CSF antibodies following vaccination and challenge with the
field virus. These findings are especially important in CSF endemic countries in
Asia where commercial ELISA test kits are gaining widespread popularity as convenient
and economical serological tools.
Dr. Sanipa and her co-workers have also conducted very important research in Classical
swine fever. Their article on the role of cell-mediated immunity and other factors
on the induction of protective immunity go a long way in answering some perplexing
questions about the lack of correlation between detectable antibodies and protection
in pigs challenged within a week after vaccination.
The MERIAL Corporate Symposium together with the 2 nd “White Book” in the CSF series,
represents the continuing effort of MERIAL to contribute to the advancement of scientific
knowledge of this disease in Asia and worldwide for the greatest possible benefit
of veterinarians and swine professionals – in keeping with their philosophy
i.e. making the vital difference.
To obtain further information and/or a copy of the book, please contact:
Amanda Evans, B.A.
MERIAL LYON FRANCE
Henry Too, BVSc., MVSc.
Regional Swine Specialist
Contact in the Philippines:
Tomas M. Acorda, DVM, FPCSP
Senior Technical/Marketing Manager
MERIAL PHILIPPINES, INC