1. CEEZAD Home
  2. »Research Program
  3. »Vaccines
  4. »Department of Homeland Security Funded Projects

Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases


1800 Denison Ave
Mosier Hall, Room P200
Manhattan, KS  66506

785-532-3373 fax

Department of Homeland Security Funded Projects

Development of T Cell-based Vaccine Against African Swine Fever Virus
Iowa State University
PI:  Weidong Xu
07/01/2015 – 06/30/2016


African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) remains one of the major transboundary animal diseases threatening the US pork industry. ASFV infections frequently result in an acute hemorrhagic disease with a mortality rate approaching 100% in domestic pigs. ASFV is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa, but outbreaks have also been reported in Russia, Ukraine and several other Eastern European countries. To date there is no licensed vaccine against ASFV. Previous studies have indicated that cytotoxic T lymphocytes may play a significant role in ASFV protective immunity. However the knowledge of antigens that encode the dominant protective epitopes recognized by CD8 T cells is lacking. In this project, research will systematically identify the CTL epitopes from several key proteins that are linked with protective immunity. The major deliverables of this project will be the identified ASFV-specific CTL epitopes as well as a potential DNA vaccine candidate which would be formulated with CTL-enhancing adjuvant containing immune-stimulatory molecules. Our specific aims are (Aim 1) to identify the dominant CTL epitopes on ASFV proteins implicated in protective immunity and (Aim 2) to develop a T cell-based ASFV vaccine and test its immunogenicity in pigs.


Novel Vaccine Approaches Against African Swine Fever
CBMSO         PI:  Yolanda Revilla Novella
KSU               Co-PI:  Juergen Richt
07/01/2014 – 06/30/2016


Absence of an efficient and safe vaccine against ASFV severely hampers strategies for disease control and eradication. Thus, new strategies leading to an efficacious vaccine against ASFV are the goal of this project. The overarching goal is to develop an ASF vaccine that offers excellent protection in swine, using a new approach to ASFV vaccinology: heterologous prime-boost vaccination, combining ASFV antigens from both DNA vaccination and recombinant ASFV proteins. The focus in the present study is to develop these protein and DNA-based vaccine components, and demonstrate their immunogenicity in pigs. In future studies, we will test efficacy of the most immunogenic combinations, selected based on in vivo immunogenicity tests developed in the present study. Our current proposal will be conducted jointly in the US (BRI-KSU) and Spain (CBMSO). The vaccination/challenge study in our future plans will also be done both in the US (BRI) and Spain (CBMSO).


Development of efficacious DIVA compatible vaccines for Rift Valley Fever Virus (RVFV)
Kansas State University               PI:  Juergen Richt
Kansas State University               Co-PI: Wenjun Ma
South Dakota State University   Co-PI: Alan Young
USDA-ABADRU                              Co-PI: William Wilson
VecTOR                                            Subcontract: Kirti Dave
07/01/2010 – 06/30/2016


There is an immediate and pressing need to develop effective animal vaccines to protect both wild and domestic ruminants from infection with the Rift Valley Fever virus (RVFV). These vaccines must be effective at inducing protective immunity, provide protection from infection in natural host species including sheep and provide the ability to differentiate vaccinated from naturally infected animals. These vaccines can then be used to protect the agricultural industry from the outbreaks of natural infection and from potential accidental or intentional exposure to this Foreign Animal Disease. Our overall goal is to develop an effective subunit vaccine which provides protection of ruminants against RVFV infection. The specific goal of this project is to express RVFV proteins in bacterial and baculovirus systems and to develop humoral and cellular immunological assays against RVFV in natural ruminant hosts. Once developed, these tools will support RVFV vaccine development and be directly applicable for differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals. Specific objectives are (1) host animal immunogenicity study to support USDA licensure of Rift Valley Fever Vaccine, killed baculovirus vector, Product Code 1825.R0, (2) evaluate immunogenicity and safety of Rift Valley Fever vaccine in pregnant sheep, (3) development and evaluation of point-of-care diagnostic tests for Rift Valley Fever Virus infection. Note: This project leverages other funding sources to support this work.