Single-shot anti-fertility vaccine in pigs (2024–2025)

Boar taint is an objectionable odour correlated with androsterone (a male hormone) and skatole (a by product of intestinal bacteria in males and females) that is often perceived during the cooking of pork and can also affect the flavour of meat and is a major consumer complaint. For centuries, pigs have been castrated to prevent boar taint which limits productivity and increases animal welfare concerns of commercial pork production. This project AIMS to produce a fully defined, non-toxic, biocompatible and single-injection gonadotropin hormonereleasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine to provide long term effective hormonal control in pigs to reduce boar taint. This project EXPECTS to generate a single-shot vaccine that will produce long-term antibodies reducing sex hormones levels in pigs and allowing the liver to metabolise (break down) skatole more efficiently. Expected OUTCOMES of this project include the development of a pilot commercial single shot GnRH vaccine candidate, in addition to generating mechanistic data that can be used to develop GnRH vaccines in other mammalian species. The BENEFITS of a one shot anti-GnRH vaccine for pigs would potentially enable humane and sustainable production of high eating quality pork and ensure a more sustainable and environmentally friendly food production by reducing the amount of feed required and waste produced compared to castration-based systems as immunised pigs are more efficient at converting food into body weight.
Grant type:
Australia's Economic Accelerator Seed Grants
Funded by:
Commonwealth Department of Education