horses

Project

Prevention & control of African Horse Sickness in South Africa

Improve preparedness and control of AHS by exchange of knowledge, diagnostics, and materials. Initiation of collaborative actions on development of safe and efficacious intervention tools like vaccines for AHSV.

Objectives

Collaborative research of ASG-CVI and selected South-African partners, including a company, in order to develop and to test vector vaccine for AHS with regard to safety, efficacy, costs, suitability and applicability in the Netherlands and worldwide.

Collaboration is further intending to improve preparedness on and control of AHS by combining complementary skills, knowledge, diagnostics, and materials in order to accelerate progress in vaccine development for AHS.

Results

  • Two PCR-tests for AHS have been developed. Both were extensively validated by use of the exchanged horse blood samples and at both institutions (see attachment). After completing the validation, ASG-CVI have used these tests in the participation in the ring trial organized by the European Reference Laboratory (Pirbright) and both tests appeared to be fit-for-purpose.
  • ASG-CVI has shipped several BTV1/BTV8 reassortants to prof. dr. Estelle Venter, University of Pretoria, SA (UoP) in order to perform collaborative research on virulence of Bluetongue virus. Deltamune is collecting new AHSV isolates and these will be shared with ASG-CVI.
  • In July, prof. Dr. Albie van Dijk, N-W University, Potchefstroom, SA (NWU), and prof. dr. Sarah Butcher, University of Helsinki, Finland (UoH) have visited ASG-CVI (on own costs) to discuss collaborative actions in the field of AHSV. Plans were discussed for a project proposal for Marie Curie funding (EU). Foreseen and agreed partners will be Deltamune, NWU, UoH, ASG-CVI and Ingenasa, Spain. Deadline of submission will be mid-January.
  • Deltamune is performing vaccination/challenge experiments in horses with inactivated AHS vaccine.Deltamune is very interested in the approach of ASG-CVI to develop a new generation of BTV vaccines based on a safe and proven modified-live vaccine in combination with the developed technology of genetic modification. Currently, a similar method is under development at ASG-CVI.