Focusing on the grow/finish stages of production to better control PRRS, the new challenge of the swine industry?

Should we redirect our research efforts to focus on PRRS prevention and control in growing and finishing pigs? This was the call for action made by Dr. Montse Torremorell, Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota when she opened the special session “Grow/finish phase of production: What are we learning and implications for making progress on PRRS control.” sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim during the North American PRRS Symposium this past weekend in Chicago. Torremorell argued that if the swine industry wants to advance regional PRRS control, more emphasis needs to put on preventing and controlling PRRS in growing pigs.

Continue reading “Focusing on the grow/finish stages of production to better control PRRS, the new challenge of the swine industry?”

Effect of intervention practices to control the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) outbreak during the first epidemic year (2013-2014) on time to absence of clinical signs and the number of dead piglets per sow in Japan

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, the MSHMP team shares their summary of a publication on the intervention practices put in place in Japanese herds to control Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea.

Key Points

  • There was little to no research on factors affecting time to absence of clinical signs (TAC) and dead piglets/sow (DP/S) during PED infections.
  • Good external biosecurity in the form of clean transport methods and one-way truck entrances is significantly associated with lower TAC and DP/S.
  • The timing of feedback relative to the PED outbreak was more important than the method of feedback.
Continue reading “Effect of intervention practices to control the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) outbreak during the first epidemic year (2013-2014) on time to absence of clinical signs and the number of dead piglets per sow in Japan”

Swine Influenza virus A: podcast 3/3

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Podcasts are perfect for summer! We are presenting you with a new series on swine influenza from “At The Meeting… Honoring Dr. Bob Morrison in collaboration with SwineCast.

Previous episodes can be found here:
Episode 1
Episode 2

In this final episode,  Dr. Montserrat Torremorell (University of Minnesota), Dr. Amy Vincent (USDA Agricultural Research Service), Dr. Christa Goodell (Boehringer Ingelheim), Dr. Gordon Spronk (Pipestone Veterinary Services), and Dr. Tom Wetzell (Boehringer Ingelheim) discuss the control of IAV-S, the research & development of vaccines for IAV-S, and the products that are being developed from the research.

Click to listen to the entire recording (19 min).

Controlling Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae infections in the field

Controlling Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in the field can be challenging. After summarizing the best sample types and diagnostic methods to detect mycoplasma infections early, Dr. Maria Pieters wrote an article for pig333 recapitulating the existing options for a producer struggling with enzootic pneumonia on her farm.

No single strategy will confer total protection. A well-orchestrated combination of various methods adjusted to a single production unit or system will be needed.

Indeed, Dr. Pieters reminds us that 3 different approaches can be combined to achieve greater disease control:

overall-mycoplasma-hyopneumoniae-control-is-effectively-achieved-when-combining-various-strategies_126971.jpgNo single strategy will confer total protection from infection with M. hyopneumoniae or disease elimination. However, a well-orchestrated combination of various methods, not only directed at clinical signs, but to the root of disease spread and transmission, adjusted to the unique characteristics of a production unit or system, is necessary to reach the goal of controlling M. hyopneumoniae infections and improving overall swine production around the world.

The entire article on Controlling Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in the field is available on the pig333 website.

Flu control: it’s all about the piglet

Our latest collaboration with the National Hog Farmer was written by Drs. Montse Torremorell and Marie Culhane from the University of Minnesota.

Flu never seems to go away in some herds and that is because there are groups of pigs, or subpopulations, that are able to maintain and spread the flu virus.

One of the most important subpopulations that have been identified as sources of virus on a farm is the piglets. Piglets may be infected, but may not show any signs of disease, and as a result, are silent spreaders of flu. Then, at weaning, a small, but significant, percentage of the piglets can be subclinically infected with flu, meaning they appear healthy but are shedding flu at the nursery or wean-to-finish site.

This causes a challenge for producers because even though piglets are born free of flu, they tend to be contaminated by the dam during their second week of like. The peak of flu-positive piglets occurs at weaning when piglets are moved to a nursery where they may be put in contact with naive piglets from another source and therefore become a major source of infection.

We need to understand how piglets become infected in the farrowing room in order to prevent it. Sow vaccination is a tool commonly used to protect piglets via the transmission of antibodies through the colostrum or maternal immunity. It has been shown to decrease the prevalence of flu-positive piglets at weaning but is insufficient to constantly wean negative animals.

“At the University of Minnesota, we have been measuring the impact of piglets on the spread of flu for years. We found, in a study by Allerson of 52 swine breeding herds in the United States, 23 herds (44%) tested IAV RT-PCR positive at least once during a six-month study period. Groups of piglets from those herds also tested positive for flu at weaning about 25% (75 of 305) of the time.

Along those same lines, Chamba and partnering sow farms reported that out of the 34 farms studied for more than five years, all sow farms tested positive for flu at one time or another and the level of flu infection in the groups of weaned pigs ranged from 7% to 57%. More importantly, in this study, approximately 28% (427 of 1,523) of groups of pigs tested positive at weaning. […]

Ultimately, the successful control of on-going flu infections in growing pigs will depend on the sow farm’s ability to wean a negative pig […]”

Click to read the entire article on the National Hog Farmer website.