Effect of strain-specific maternally-derived antibodies on influenza A virus infection dynamics in nursery pigs

A new scientific article from the Torremorell lab, about the influence of maternal antibodies on influenza dynamics was published in PLoS ONE.

The study followed 10 cohorts of nursery piglets form a single influenza-positive sow farm and compared influenza dynamics based on the vaccination status of the dam.

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A new diagnostic test to differentiate rotavirus subtypes

In this paper published in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, PhD-candidate Talita Resende from Dr. Vannucci’s lab, shares a novel diagnostic technique to detect various rotavirus species using newly developed markers.

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Assessing internal personnel movements in swine farms to help direct PRRS control and elimination efforts

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.

This week, we are sharing the preliminary results of a study conducted by Dr. Andreia Arruda at Ohio State University.

Key points

  • Newly developed beacon-sensing technology can be used to better understand within-farm people movement; and particularly better quantify potentially “risky” movements in PRRS positive herds during control/ elimination efforts.
  • Preliminary data analysis showed that an increase in commonly referred to “risky” movements (e.g. from loading areas/ nurseries to other parts of the farm) was associated with a decrease in number of pigs weaned per sow; and an increase in pre-weaning mortality.
Continue reading “Assessing internal personnel movements in swine farms to help direct PRRS control and elimination efforts”

Mycoplasma hyorhinis and Mycoplasma hyosynoviae dual detection patterns in dams and piglets

Today, we are sharing an original research article published by the MycoLab and Dr. Maria Pieters in PLOS One regarding detection patterns for 2 species of mycoplasmas in sows and piglets.

The objectives of this study were to:

  • describe when Mycoplasma hyorhinis and Mycoplasma hyosynoviae can be detected in piglets and is sows,
  • assess if there was a correlation between detection of the mycoplasmas in the sow and in the piglet, and
  • assess if there was a correlation between lameness and mycoplasma detection.

Conclusions

Under the conditions of this investigation, dams appeared to be consistently positive for both M. hyorhinis and M. hyosynoviae prior to weaning.

In contrast, higher detection was observed in piglets at week 3, in comparison to week 1 post-farrowing, with M. hyorhinis, while detection of M. hyosynoviae was remarkably minimal.

The relative risk of developing lameness in postweaning piglets was highly associated with the detection of M. hyorhinis at 3 weeks of age

This research article is available in open-access on the PlOS One website.

Continue reading “Mycoplasma hyorhinis and Mycoplasma hyosynoviae dual detection patterns in dams and piglets”

Antimicrobial Resistance Projects: Towards Antimicrobial Stewardship

This article was written by Drs. CJ Gebhart, KE Olsen and JL Torrison from the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota.

The emergence of antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and the environment is a major global public health threat to both human and veterinary medicine.  Efforts to address this important issue involve government, industry, academia, and most notably, veterinary diagnostic laboratories (VDLs).  These efforts include surveillance to assess the extent resistance in human and animal pathogens and the development of policies to monitor and control antimicrobial resistance.

A collaborative effort involving the stakeholders listed above is the key to addressing this emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance and VDLs play major roles in these collaborative efforts.  As reported in a Commentary by GK Hendrix in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation in 2018, VDLs are the “nexus in the battle against antimicrobial resistance” (1). The University of Minnesota VDL Bacteriology Section performs almost 30,000 bacterial cultures annually, and most of the pathogenic isolates are archived for future use.  These uses include further testing (subtyping, virulence gene assays, serotyping, etc.), use in disease control efforts (autogenous vaccines, etc.), various research projects, and surveillance studies.  Almost 5,000 of these pathogenic bacteria are subjected to antimicrobial resistance testing annually, and these antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentration data are archived for decades for further use.

Performing one of many antimicrobial susceptibility tests in the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Bacteriology Section.

For our part in this aforementioned collaborative effort in antimicrobial stewardship, the University of Minnesota VDL is actively involved in two collaborative government-organized antimicrobial resistance projects as well as several collaborative academic research projects on antimicrobial resistance.  The common goal of the collaborative government projects is to determine the population and distribution of resistant bacteria in the U.S. 

The first of these projects is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) project (2).  This project has 19 AAVLD-accredited laboratories throughout the U.S. and Canada participating with the objective of monitoring antimicrobial resistance profiles in animal pathogens routinely isolated from VDLs.  Ultimately, this project will result in a national centralized data collection and reporting process, using harmonized methods and antimicrobial resistance interpretation and reporting standards.  It aims to monitor data for trends in antimicrobial resistance phenotypes (and eventually genotypes) by identifying new or emerging resistance profiles, monitoring usefulness of antimicrobials over time, and reporting these trends to facilitate antimicrobial stewardship efforts. 

This USDA project began in January, 2018, and initially involved collection of isolates and antimicrobial resistance data from Escherischia coli (all species), Salmonella enterica (all species), Mannheimia haemolytica (cattle) and Staphylococcus intermedius group (companion animals) from routine VDL submissions.  A target of about 3,000 isolates will be collected from the participating VDLs annually and archived for further testing.  The antimicrobial testing data will be tracked and stored by USDA for each isolate and an annual report will be prepared for stakeholders.  This report will include antimicrobial resistance trends for antibiotics important for human and animal health and the distribution of minimum inhibitory concentrations for each antimicrobial monitored for each bacterial pathogen for each animal species included in the study.

The second of these collaborative antimicrobial resistance projects is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary-Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) project (3). This project has 21 AAVLD-accredited laboratories participating with the objective of performing surveillance of antimicrobial susceptibility testing results and whole genome sequencing of pathogens from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System scope of interest (4). 

This FDA project began in January, 2017, and initially involved collection of isolates and data for three zoonotic bacterial pathogens, with several other bacterial species added to the project in July, 2018.  About 2,000 isolates have been collected since project inception, and the FDA has randomly selected about 200 of these isolates for whole genome sequencing.  The remaining isolates have been archived for future studies.  As an additional benefit related to this project, the University of Minnesota VDL received funds from FDA to purchase an Illumina iSeq Sequencer and participate in a collaborative project designed to increase the number and capabilities of network laboratories involved in the whole genome sequencing portion of this FDA project.  Standardization and harmonization of these bacterial genome sequencing abilities among participating laboratories is further designed to increase the network capacity and facilitate future outbreak investigations.

In summary, in support of antimicrobial stewardship efforts, the University of Minnesota VDL Bacteriology Section provides clinical isolates and antimicrobial susceptibility testing data for two collaborative government-initiated projects, one in collaboration with the USDA and the other with the FDA.  Further, the VDL as a whole provides leadership in antimicrobial stewardship on a daily basis, cooperating with disease outbreak investigations, collaborating with academic and industrial researchers, and educating veterinarians, clients and the public on issues of antimicrobial stewardship (1).

References

1.  Hendrix, GK. 2018.  The Role of Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance

2.  USDA. 2018. USDA’s Role in Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance. 

3.  FDA. 2018.  Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network