Protecting the Swine Industry from Influenza

Swine influenza virus (SIV) is a zoonotic agent that causes outbreaks of acute respiratory disease in domestic pigs and hogs. SIV ranks among the top three health problems in the swine industry and leads to significant economic losses throughout the world. Because new variants emerge frequently, developing a vaccine that protects swine from the many, ever-changing strains of SIV is extremely challenging.

Diego G. Diel, Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, is leading a team of Cornell researchers to assess the feasibility and efficacy of two promising strategies for a broadly protective SIV vaccine for swine. Both strategies target hemagglutinin, a glycoprotein that is present on the surface of all influenza viruses. (The H in the names of influenza viruses, such as H1N1 and H3N2, stands for hemagglutinin, of which there are 18 known types.) The strategies involve two distinct methods of combining variations of hemagglutinin proteins—consensus sequences and chimeric stalk sequences—in the hope of provoking a broader immune response that will protect swine from genetically diverse strains of SIV. Researchers will first compare consensus and chimeric methods in pigs to determine which platform has a better chance of success; they will then characterize the immune response provoked by the better method and determine the vaccine’s efficacy.

This research is aimed at developing a broadly protective SIV vaccine that will contribute to the improvement and sustainability of the United States swine industry. Availability of broadly protective SIV vaccines will enhance control of SIV and reduce the impact of this disease on both human and animal health.

NIFA Award Number: 2022-67015-36349

Cornell Researchers

Funding Received

$642 Thousand spanning 3 years

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