Farm management practices associated with influenza contamination of people working in swine farms

We hope all our US readers had a great Memorial Day weekend. Today, we are talking about farm practices and flu in farm workers. This recent publication from the Torremorell lab is available in open access on the Porcine Health Management journal website.

Take-away points

  • Na├»ve piglets becoming infected with influenza before weaning participates in the endemic status of sow farms.
  • Numerous interactions between piglets and farm workers happen pre-weaning (e.g. processing, vaccinations)
  • Between 16% and 94% of the samples taken post-activity from farm workers’ hands and clothing were PCR positive for influenza.
  • Activities during the peri-weaning period had almost 6 times higher risk of flu detection.
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Predicting Antigenic Distance from Genetic Data for PRRSV-Type 1

Today, we are sharing a new publication from the VanderWaal research lab at the UMN. In this article published in Microbiology Spectrum, Dr. Dennis Makau et al. estimated the likelihood of serum-virus cross-protection between PRRSV-1 viruses and identified important amino acid sites influencing antigenic variability between viruses. Additionally, they investigated how differences in those amino acid sites contributes to the antigenic variability between the viral isolates.

IMPORTANCE Understanding cross-protection between cocirculating PRRSV1 strains is crucial to reducing losses associated with PRRS outbreaks on farms. While experimental studies to determine cross-protection are instrumental, these in vivo studies are not always practical or timely for the many cocirculating and emerging PRRSV strains. In this study, we demonstrate the ability to rapidly estimate potential immunologic cross-reaction between different PRRSV1 strains in silico using sequence data routinely collected by production systems. These models can provide fast turn-around information crucial for improving PRRS management decisions such as selecting vaccines/live virus inoculation to be used on farms and assessing the risk of outbreaks by emerging strains on farms previously exposed to certain PRRSV strains and vaccine development among others.

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What is the role of parity in the detection of PRRSV in processing fluids?

Today we are sharing a paper by former MSHMP team member Juan Sanhueza, in collaboration with Drs. Cesar Corzo, Mariana Kikuti, and Declan Schroeder from the UMN swine group and multiple Midwestern swine systems. This recent publication in Preventive Veterinary Medicine looks at the impact of sow parity on the detection of PRRS virus in processing fluids.

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A successful 2023 AASV meeting for the University of Minnesota!

The University of Minnesota was well represented at the 54th AASV annual meeting, last week-end in Aurora, Colorado.

Dr. Joaquin Alvarez-Norambuena gave two talks during the research topics session. His first presentation focused on investigating if PRRSV can reach ground water after manure spreading while the second one compared various hand sanitation protocols to decrease influenza transmission.

At the AASV foundation luncheon, Dr. Kim VanderWaal received a research grant award to continue her work on PRRSV classification to improve disease control and management.

During a session on FAD preparedness, Dr. Marie Culhane defined what a targeted, science-based African Swine Fever surveillance would look like.

Lastly, Brenna Werner, sophomore at the UMN CVM, won the first place in the DVM student poster competition with her work on oral fluids in pen gestation. Congratulations Brenna!

Learn with the University of Minnesota at the 2023 AASV meeting

The 54th Annual AASV meeting is starting this Saturday in Aurora, Colorado and the University of Minnesota will be there! Check out our list of UMN speakers below.

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