An experimental modified-live-virus vaccine for swine influenza virus (SIV) could offer greater protection against the disease.

Preliminary results from the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization of the University of Saskatchewan indicate that the live virus vaccine offers better protection against influenza strains vs. a killed product.

The potential to change strains and have a more “real-time” vaccine could exist.

Typically, live-virus vaccines provide superior immunity to that induced by conventional inactivated vaccines. All of the current SIV vaccines are killed products.

Current research at the University of Saskatchewan has generated two viruses that are weakened in replication, but are able to grow in tissue culture, facilitating production of this virus.

When tested in pigs, this virus could infect pigs without causing disease. Hence, this virus is a great candidate for an SIV live-virus vaccine.

Immune response to this virus and immune protection to other swine influenza virus challenges have been tested.

Funding for this research was provided by the National Pork Board.

Researcher: Yan Zhou, University of Saskatchewan. For more information, contact Zhou by phone (306) 966-7716, fax (306) 966-7478 or by e-mail yan.zhou@usask.ca.