Fellowship provides opportunity for swine researcher to take her work to a new level

This article was written by Brandi Rupard for the UMN CVM magazine, Profiles.

Dr. Alyssa Betlach

Many teenagers find themselves behind grocery checkouts and restaurant counters when it comes to taking on a part-time job in high school. Alyssa Betlach found herself working among 1,500 sows at a local swine farm near her hometown of Owatonna, MN. 

The sow farm became a very familiar place to Betlach, who continued working there throughout high school and into her undergraduate education at the University of Minnesota. The time she spent on the farm served as inspiration and preparation for her current career as a swine veterinarian and researcher. 

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The best posts of 2021

Happy New Year from the University of Minnesota swine group! We hope that the coming year brings great things. We covered so many different things on this blog in the past year, we wanted to share some of the highlights with you. Thank you for your readership last year and we look forward to continuing to bring you this kind of content in 2022.

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Pinpointing pathogens, dead or alive: CVM graduate student designing better way to manage respiratory disease in swine

 This article was written by Kaitlin Sullivan for the UMN CVM magazine, Profiles.

Albert Canturri, PhD candidate in the MycoLab

Mycoplasmal pneumonia of swine (MPS) first appeared in pigs a century ago, when producers had a hunch that it wasn’t influenza that was taking their droves. Today, the disease is nearly endemic.

“It exists in just about any country where pigs are raised,” says Maria Pieters, DVM, PhD, director of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s (CVM) Swine Disease Eradication Center. 

When the minuscule bacteria, called Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, first enter a pig’s lungs, it can easily go undetected. But as the pig approaches the finishing stage, the bacteria cripples its respiratory system and stunts the swine’s growth. The infected pig takes longer to reach market size, elevating costs for producers. They also suffer, something veterinarians strive to eliminate. 

There’s a better way to manage the spread of the disease, and Albert Canturri, a PhD candidate in CVM, is designing it.

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Happy Holidays!

This Friday, we are taking a break from our regular Science Pages to wish you all Happy Holidays. We are thankful for the time you spend reading our blog and for your support, that allows us to continue sharing our work. We hope that you have a joyful and peaceful time with your loved ones and we will be back on Tuesday as per usual.

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Best of Leman 2021: Dr. Gerdts – New approaches to swine vaccines

This is our most popular series on the blog. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.

You can find all of the presentations selected from previous conferences on the blog here.

This month, we are sharing one of the keynotes of the 2021 conference: Dr. Volker Gerdts takes us on a journey into the future of swine vaccines and vaccination strategies.