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, Dr. Torremorell shares the results of a project funded by the Swine Disease Eradication Center on ultraviolet germicidal Chambers in swine farms. Training videos in English and Spanish as well as downloadable handouts are available at z.umn.edu/UVbox
In an effort to examine the role of ingredients, especially vitamins, in feed biosecurity, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) and the University of Minnesota organized a vitamin manufacturing sector-wide workshop. Representatives from pork industry organizations including National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council, American Association of Swine Veterinarians, vitamin manufacturers and blenders, and feed industry associations joined SHIC and the University of Minnesota for the workshop in late April in St. Paul, Minnesota. Participants focused on vitamins and the processes involved prior to delivery to a producer’s farm, with special focus on African swine fever transport and transmission risk.
New methods allow estimation of the overall PRRS-vulnerability risk score by asking 20 or less questions.
This can help producers and veterinarians to (a) measure and benchmark key biosecurity aspects, and (b) toidentify sites at relatively higher (or lower) risk of PRRSv introduction.
Study Summary: This study aimed to identify a small set of biosecurity aspects that, when combined, have a strong association with the frequency of PRRSv introduction into swine breeding herds.
Preliminary Results: A cross-sectional study assessed biosecurity aspects in 84 breeding herds from 14 production systems in 2017. Models were trained to predict whether a farm had or not reported a PRRS outbreak in the past 5 years, given a set of biosecurity aspects. Two methods were used, and both models were able to classify the herds with a great overall performance based on few biosecurity aspects (See figure). The variables used by both methods were related to the frequency of risk events in the farm, swine density around the farm, farm characteristics/ requirements to visitors, and operational connections to other sites.
Note: The Gini coefficient (or index) is a single number aimed at measuring the degree of inequality in a distribution. (Source: Wikipedia) The higher the number, the less equally distributed the farms will be.
When comparing the predicted positive value obtained by the models, they showed a strong positive correlation (0.7 and 0.76, respectively) with the frequency of past outbreaks.
Enroll on our follow-up study: Study farms will be asked to fill a short survey. Using the methods above, the PRRS-vulnerability risk score will be generated for each farm enrolled. The information will be collected via an Excel file and the name of the farms and production systems will be kept confidential.
To enroll or request additional information please contact: Gustavo Silva (gustavos-at-iastate.edu) or Daniel Linhares (linhares-at-iastate.edu) at Iowa State University.
Monitoring cab cleaning and hot shot handle cleaning via Glo Germ Gel is simple and cost-effective.
Wiping down the cab interior with intervention wipes only adds around 5 minutes. These minor cost and time additions to truck wash procedures can help to prevent a million-dollar PRRS break.
Truck wash crew and trailer washers are often overlooked but perform a job that is essential in maintaining biosecurity and disease outbreak and therefore herd health.
The objective of this study was to assess overall biosecurity at the truck wash and identify potential areas of concern, measure and evaluate these areas of concern, and suggest solutions.
Potential Areas of Concern Identified
The areas observed for cleaning included: steering wheel, dash, handles, climate control buttons, and radio. These areas were not being focused on; but are critical areas touched each time a driver is in the cab. In addition, it was difficult for monitors to tell if a cab had been cleaned or not by visual inspection alone.
After the three-day observation period, it became apparent that all equipment besides hot shots stayed in the dryers. Thus, hot shots were identified as the main equipment of concern. They were not returning with each trailer load, leading to biosecurity concerns.
Monitors inspect both PRRS positive and PRRS negative trailers throughout the day, before the wash crew is allowed to disinfect each trailer. Although monitors change boots and put on Tyvek before inspecting negative trailers, there is no true clean / dirty line where they change shoes.
Steering wheel, dash, door handle, climate control buttons, and radio control buttons were evaluated on how well they were cleaned with a Glo Germ Gel product. The Glo Germ Gel was applied while the trucks were waiting in line to be cleaned. The assessment was performed using an UV light for any trace of the Glo Germ, indicating whether the surface had or had not been cleaned. The interior of cabs were not being cleaned as well as possible as evidenced by the amount of fluorescence that was detected in those five critical areas.
All of the hot shot handles and prods were numbered in both the PRRS positive and PRRS negative equipment sheds on a Sunday. Every night for the next five days it was checked if each hot shot was present, which equipment shed it was in, and new ones were numbered as they appeared. Throughout the course of those five days hot shot handles and prods were not being returned on a consistent basis. However, the equipment was not switched between the PRRS positive and PRRS negative sheds.
Glo Germ Gel and Powder was applied to the shoes of monitors and on positive trailers before monitors inspected them. Although no Glo Germ was appreciated in the PRRS negative areas, it may still be a potential area of concern and should be further evaluated.
In order to ensure that the interior of cabs were being cleaned as well as possible,the truck wash crew was shown images of the cab interiors with the Glo Germ Gel comparing interiors that were wiped down and those that were not. Current protocols could be clarified, and the importance of cab cleaning should be emphasized. Glo Germ Gel also gives the monitors the ability to do random internal audits of cab cleaning.
In order to check hot shot handle and prod cleanliness Glo Germ can be applied at the same time monitors put Glo Germ in the cabs. To encourage returning hot shots the truck wash crew can continue to write down cull and gilt trailers that do not return with a hotshot. To stop any potential cross-contamination, the PRRS-positive hot shots could be painted red.
Although no Glo Germ was appreciated it is possible that monitor movement is still a potential biosecurity risk and should be further evaluated. It appears that the Glo Germ washed right off as the trailers were wet when the monitors inspected them.