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Novel vaccine design for preventing Streptococcus suis in swine

June 6, 2019

In Thailand, limited access to high-quality vaccines and the elevated density of farm animals greatly increase the risk of disease outbreaks on swine farms. These problems, in combination with poor disease diagnosis, lead to the overuse of antimicrobials and the subsequent development and spread of antimicrobial-resistant micro-organisms (e.g., bacteria). These micro-organisms present a threat to animal health and have been identified as a risk factor for human infectious diseases.

The challenge

There is currently no commercial vaccine available for Streptococcus suis, one of the most significant causes of bacterial infection and death among post-weaned piglets. This infection causes major economic losses to the swine industry and negatively affects animal welfare. S. suis may also be transmitted from pigs to humans, and it is the second most common cause of adult meningitis in Thailand.

A new Streptococcus suis vaccine

Effective vaccines for S. suis could significantly reduce the use of antimicrobials in animals, thereby reducing selective pressure for antimicrobial resistance. This project aims to design the first chemically synthesized S. suis vaccine to induce immune response. The protective capacity of the vaccine prototypes will be validated in animal-challenge models under laboratory conditions and finally under field-like conditions using an experimental farm system in Thailand.

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Expected results

The potential impact of this project is the development of an innovative vaccine solution to control S. suis infections and reduce antimicrobial use in livestock production in Thailand. If this project succeeds, there will be a combined decrease in both S. suis infections in pigs and a decreased risk of human infection.

Lead institutions

This project is a collaboration between the Université de Montréal and the University of Alberta in Canada and Thammasat University in Thailand.

•  Duration: 33 months

•  Budget: CA$1.53 million