Swine Veterinary Education in the US: current challenges and opportunities

The AASV Collegiate Activity Committee taskforce, co-led by Drs. Gil Patterson (VetNOW) and Perle Zhitnitskiy (UMN CVM) published a commentary in JAVMA regarding the current state of affairs in swine veterinary education in the United States.

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Antimicrobial use, PRRS, and the microbiome with McKnight Land-Grant Professor Noelle Noyes

Dr. Noelle Noyes received the 2022 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship for her work on Microbes for Sustainable Intensification of Livestock Production. As the human population expands, so does its demand for protein. Livestock farmers must meet this demand, but their land and water are shrinking rapidly, meaning they must produce more with less. Dr. Noyes confronts this challenge through scientific discovery of the livestock microbiome.

Noyes receives 2022 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship

In one of their latest studies in collaboration with Pipestone Systems and Dr. Peter Davies, the Noyes lab evaluates the impact of antimicrobial use on resistance patterns in PRRS-infected pigs. The publication is available in open access in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.

Despite a recognized need for more longitudinal studies to assess the effects of antimicrobial use on resistance in food animals, they remain sparse in the literature, and most longitudinal studies of pigs have been observational. The current experimental study had the advantages of greater control of potential confounding, precise measurement of antimicrobial exposures which differed markedly between groups and tracking of pigs until market age. Overall, resistance patterns were remarkably stable between the treatment groups over time, and the differences observed could not be readily reconciled with the antimicrobial exposures, indicating the likely importance of other determinants of antimicrobial resistance at the population level.

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Pooling udder skin wipes to detect influenza in preweaning pigs

This is a recent publication from the Torremorell’s lab refining the use of udder wipes to detect influenza in preweaning pigs. It is available in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.

Key points

  • Pooling of three, five, and ten udder wipes was evaluated.
  • Sensitivity decreased if the Ct count was above 31.5.
  • Pooling more than three udder wipes can affect the ability to detect influenza virus.
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Evaluation of oral fluid as an aggregate sample for early detection of ASF

This is our Friday rubric: every week a new Science Page from the Bob Morrison’s Swine Health Monitoring Project. The previous editions of the science page are available on our website.

Since ASF has been found in the Dominic Republic last week, swine producers are concerned about it spreading into the United States. Early detection would be essential to ensure a rapid response and containment of the disease. This week, the MSHMP team shares the summary of a Canadian study looking at using oral fluids as a tool to diagnose ASF.

Key Points

  • Oral fluid samples may be used as a low labor, cost effective alternative sample source for rapid detection of ASFV during ASF surveillance.
  • ASFv genome was detected in oral fluids at low-to-moderate levels as early as 3-5 days post infection, before clinical symptoms started. 
  • Further research is needed to understand limitations and best practices of oral fluid sampling for ASFv
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Phylogenetic Structure and Sequential Dominance of Sub-Lineages of PRRSV Type-2 Lineage 1 in the United States

In a new study by Paploski et al., researchers from the VanderWaal lab delineated the phylogenetic structure within PRRSV Lineage 1, described past dynamics of different viral strains through quantifying viral population sizes across time, and identified antigenically relevant amino acid changes associated with each sub-lineage.

Key points

  • Lineage 1 of PRRSV-type 2, which is the most prevalent PRRSV lineage in the U.S., can be sub-divided into eight sub-lineages
  • We documented the cyclic emergence and turnover of different lineages and sub-lineages (about every 3 years) in the commercial pig population based on both sequence count data and estimated past viral population sizes inferred from genetic diversity through time.
  • The eight sub-lineages differed in key amino acid sites of the GP5 that are thought to be involved in the immune response to the virus. This lends further strength to the hypothesis that immune-mediated competition or selection may drive the emergence of new PRRSV sub-lineages in the U.S.
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