Advances in Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae elimination: a podcast series

This past month, the Morrison group invited Dr. Paul Yeske, swine practitioner at the Swine Vet Center (St. Peter, MN), Dr. Amanda Sponheim, PhD candidate at the University of Minnesota and Support Veterinarian at Boerhinger Ingelheim, and Dr. Maria Pieters from the University of Minnesota to discuss the latest progress made in successfully eliminating Mycoplasma hyopeumoniae from swine herds. Dr. Pieters is the head of the MycoLab at the College of Veterinary Medicine and focuses on diagnostics and epidemiology of swine mycoplasms to help veterinarians control associated diseases.

  1. History of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae herd elimination and practices: podcast
  2. Sampling techniques and protocols to use during the process of elimination: podcast
  3. Starting the elimination: when is day zero? podcast

The podcasts in the press

Monitoring Salmonella resistance to antimicrobials in Minnesota during the past 9 years

The STEMMA laboratory at the University of Minnesota and more particularly Dr. Alvarez’s team is aiming at monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in animal and human bacteria. Therefore, the research they present in this article published this month, focused on Salmonella species both in swine and cattle. Records from the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory between 2006 and 2015 were compiled to study the evolution of the proportion of resistant strains of Salmonella in Minnesota.

Dr Hong, in collaboration with researchers from the U of MN, captured the number and the type of antimicrobials each strain was resistant to. He also monitored the evolution of the resistances over the nine-year period.

Evolution in antimicrobial resistant Salmonella isolates
recovered from swine at the MVDL in 2006–2015.

Explanation of the figure: Proportion of Salmonella isolates recovered from swine samples that were resistant to ampicillin (A), ceftiofur (C), enrofloxacin (E), florfenicol (F), gentamicin (G), neomycin (N), oxytetracycline (O), sulfadimethoxine (Sul), spectomycin (Sp) and trimethorpim/ sulfamethoxazole (Ts)

Abstract: Salmonellosis remains one of the leading causes of foodborne disease worldwide despite preventive efforts at various stages of the food production chain. The emergence of multi-drug resistant (MDR) non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica represents an additional challenge for public health authorities. Food animals are considered a major reservoir and potential source of foodborne salmonellosis; thus, monitoring of Salmonella strains in livestock may help to detect emergence of new serotypes/MDR phenotypes and to gain a better understanding of Salmonella epidemiology. For this reason, we analyzed trends over a nine-year period in serotypes, and antimicrobial resistance, of Salmonella isolates recovered at the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MVDL) from swine (n = 2,537) and cattle (n = 1,028) samples. Prevalence of predominant serotypes changed over time; in swine, S. Typhimurium and S. Derby decreased and S. Agona and S. 4,5,12:i:- increased throughout the study period. In cattle, S. Dublin, S. Montevideo and S. Cerro increased and S. Muenster became less frequent. Median minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) values and proportion of antibiotic resistant isolates were higher for those recovered from swine compared with cattle, and were particularly high for certain antibiotic-serotype combinations. The proportion of resistant swine isolates was also higher than observed in the NARMS data, probably due to the different cohort of animals represented in each dataset. Results provide insight into the dynamics of antimicrobial resistant Salmonella in livestock in Minnesota, and can help to monitor emerging trends in antimicrobial resistance.

Link to the full article

Happy Holidays from the swine group at the University of Minnesota!

2016 was a great year for the swine group at the University of Minnesota. The Food Centric Corridor Infectious Disease Research Laboratory was remodeled to create an open and luminous space to foster collaboration between researchers. The Leman conference and Leman China were tremendous successes, sharing research-based solutions to swine veterinarians and producers in Minnesota and around the world. The new animal isolation units construction has started and will be achieved next year, allowing our scientists to perform cutting edge research on infectious diseases. Our researchers have made great discoveries and shared them with the community.

Thanks to all of you who are supporting the swine group, 2016 was indeed a great year and we hope 2017 will be even better.

We wish you a very happy holiday season and all the very best for 2017!

The U of MN hosts the Minnesota Pork Board Research committee for a day of productive exchanges.

The University of Minnesota highly values its partnerships with the industry stakeholders. With the objective to continue a fruitful and mutually beneficial collaboration, the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota hosted the Minnesota Pork Board (MPB) Research Committee on December 15th, to exchange ideas and to discuss projects that would be the most beneficial for the swine industry in Minnesota.

After a review of the current and future swine projects happening at both Colleges, Dean Ames (CVM), and Dean Buhr (CFANS) gave an update on the new facilities being built on the St. Paul Campus including the new animal isolation units that will allow our scientists to perform cutting edge research on infectious diseases.

Lastly, the MPB research committee toured the newly remodeled Food Centric Corridor Infectious Disease Research Laboratory as well as the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The U of MN would like to thank all the representatives from the Minnesota Pork Board who came to meet our researchers and made this day the great success it was.

Dr. Fernando Leite receives Lynn Jones Memorial Award for Best Oral presentation at CRWAD

Dr. Fernando Leite, a PhD student under the supervision of Dr. Richard Isaacson, won the Lynn Jones Memorial Award for the best oral presentation at the 97th Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD). His talk entitled “Lawsonia intracellularis vaccination decreases Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium shedding in co-infected pigs” presented the results of the work  he did in collaboration with Drs. Gebhart, Singer, and Isaacson at the University of Minnesota.

Please join us in congratulating Fernando for his award!

Abstract: Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium and Lawsonia intracellularis are two of the most prevalent intestinal pathogens of swine. S. Typhimurium causes diarrhea but also results in subclinical persistent colonization of pigs and can lead to food borne illnesses. S. enterica is responsible for over 1 million cases of food borne illness per year in the United States. L. intracellularis infection has been found as a risk factor for increased S. Typhimurium shedding in swine. The objective of this study was to investigate if vaccination against L. intracellularis could lead to decreased S. Typhimurium shedding. To test this hypothesis, groups of nine pigs were either challenged with S. Typhimurium, S. Typhimurium and L. intracellularis, S. Typhimurium and vaccinated against L. intracellularis, or S. Typhimurium L. intracellularis and vaccinated against L. intracellularis. A non-infected control group served as a negative control. Fecal shedding of S. Typhimurium was monitored using an enrichment most probable number method two days after infection and weekly thereafter until animals reached the age of 14 weeks. The co-challenged vaccinated group had a tendency of shedding the least S. Typhimurium and at one-week post infection is when the greatest differences among groups was observed and the vaccinated co-challenged group shed significantly less Salmonella (p>0.05) than the group co-infected without vaccination and the group challenged with Salmonella alone. These differences were of 1.63 and 2.12 Log10 organisms per gram of feces, respectively. The instestinal microbiome of these animals is being investigated to understand how it may have impacted Salmonella shedding levels in the different treatments. These results indicate that vaccination against L. intracellularis may aid in the control of S. Typhimurium in herds co-infected with L. intracellularis.

Defining parameters to develop epidemiological models of a Foot and Mouth Disease incursion: meta-analysis of the disease biology

kinsley-epidemiological-models-of-fmd-in-swine

Models are primordial to develop the best control and eradication measures as well as to decrease response time in the event of a Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) incursion on US soil. However, to be as representative of real-life situation as possible, these models need the most accurate information on disease biology. This scientific article, written by a U of M team of epidemiologists: Drs. Kinsley, Patterson, VanderWaal, Craft, and Perez, is a meta-analysis of the peer-reviewed literature defining what the exact values for the duration of various disease periods such as: latency, incubation and sub-clinical phases are. The total duration of infection is also examined.

fvets-03-00044-g001.jpg
Time course of a FMD infection in pigs infected through contact with an inoculated pig.

Abstract: In the event of a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) incursion, response strategies are required to control, contain, and eradicate the pathogen as efficiently as possible. Infectious disease simulation models are widely used tools that mimic disease dispersion in a population and that can be useful in the design and support of prevention and mitigation activities. However, there are often gaps in evidence-based research to supply models with quantities that are necessary to accurately reflect the system of interest. The objective of this study was to quantify values associated with the duration of the stages of FMD infection (latent period, subclinical period, incubation period, and duration of infection), probability of transmission (within-herd and between-herd via spatial spread), and diagnosis of a vesicular disease within a herd using a meta-analysis of the peer-reviewed literature and expert opinion. The latent period ranged from 1 to 7 days and incubation period ranged from 1 to 9 days; both were influenced by strain. In contrast, the subclinical period ranged from 0 to 6 days and was influenced by sampling method only. The duration of infection ranged from 1 to 10 days. The probability of spatial spread between an infected and fully susceptible swine farm was estimated as greatest within 5 km of the infected farm, highlighting the importance of possible long-range transmission through the movement of infected animals. Finally, while most swine practitioners are confident in their ability to detect a vesicular disease in an average sized swine herd, a small proportion expect that up to half of the herd would need to show clinical signs before detection via passive surveillance would occur. The results of this study will be useful in within- and between-herd simulation models to develop efficient response strategies in the event an FMD in swine populations of disease-free countries or regions.

Link to the full article

If you want to know more about the STEMMA lab, click here.

Confirmed detection of a new porcine circovirus: introducing PCV3

This past Friday, the Virology journal published a short report confirming the detection of a new porcine circovirus named PCV3. The virus was identified by a team of  diagnosticians and researchers from the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the U of M in collaboration with the Blood Systems Research Institute and the Department of Laboratory Medicine in San Fransisco.

The pigs, gathered from three different cases, which expressed cardiac pathology and lesions of systemic inflammation tested negative for PCV2 by PCR. The article also reports the complete genetic sequences of the viruses and illustrates how different their proteins  are from PCV2 and PCV1 ones in a phylogenetic tree.

pcv3-virology-nov-2016

Abstract
Background
Porcine circovirus 2 causes different clinical syndromes resulting in a significant economic loss in the pork industry. Three pigs with unexplained cardiac and multi-organ inflammation that tested negative for PCV2 and other known porcine pathogens were further analyzed.
Methods
Histology was used to identify microscopic lesions in multiple tissues. Metagenomics was used to detect viral sequences in tissue homogenates. In situ hybridization was used to detect viral RNA expression in cardiac tissue.
Results
In all three cases we characterized the genome of a new circovirus we called PCV3 with a replicase and capsid proteins showing 55 and 35 % identities to the genetically-closest proteins from a bat-feces associated circovirus and were even more distant to those of porcine circovirus 1 and 2. Common microscopic lesions included non-suppurative myocarditis and/or cardiac arteriolitis. Viral mRNA was detected intralesionally in cardiac cells. Deep sequencing in tissues also revealed the presence of porcine astrovirus 4 in all three animals as well as rotavirus A, porcine cytomegalovirus and porcine hemagglutinating encephalomyelitis virus in individual cases.
Conclusion
The pathogenicity and molecular epidemiology of this new circovirus, alone or in the context of co-infections, warrants further investigations.

Link to the full article