Concentration of pollutant levels in the finisher barn were distinctly higher during winter than during summer.
Use of a wet feed system reduced respirable endotoxin concentrations substantially.
Evolving production practices in the swine industry may alter the working environment. The second part of this research project characterized the wet versus dry feed in finishing on air contaminant concentrations.
Eight-hour time-weighted ammonia, hydrogen sulfide, respirable dust, respirable endotoxin, and carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature were measured regularly at stationary locations throughout a year in a facility with parallel finishing rooms using dry and wet feed delivery systems.
All ammonia, respirable dust, and carbon dioxide concentrations were below relevant regulatory and recommended levels . Hydrogen sulfide concentrations were always below the regulatory levels but they reached one of the recommended threshold levels on two occasions in the dry feed room. Respirable endotoxin concentrations regularly exceeded the proposed health-based recommended occupational exposure limit during autumn in the dry feed room and in both rooms during winter.
In all cases, concentrations varied significantly as a function of time. Concentrations of respirable dust, endotoxin and carbon dioxide were distinctly higher during winter than during summer. Temperatures varied significantly with time, but this difference was driven more by the need of the growing piglets than by seasonal differences.
Use of a wet feed system reduced respirable endotoxin concentrations substantially. Changing ventilation rates in response to seasonal differences influenced contaminant concentrations more than feed type.
Pooling oral fluid samples seems to be a good strategy to determine the status of a farm (positive/negative) for influenza A virus (IAV) and PRRSV.
Sampling water cups using environmental Swiffer™ samples appears to be a sensitive approach to detect IAV at the pen level.
However, sample size has been limited to one farm.
The objective of this project was to compare the sensitivity of pooled pen oral fluids (OF) and environmental samples (Swiffer™ kits on water cups) using individual pen oral fluids as the standard.
Fifteen paired environmental and individual pen OF were collected at days 3, 7, 10, 17, 24 and 31 post placement in two different nursery farms. Environmental samples (ES) were taken using Swiffer™ cloths to sample the bottom of water cups (both pans and bowls), focusing around nipples. After individual samples were collected, pen OF were pooled by 3.
There was an overall sensitivity of 71% (IAV) and 14% (PRRS) for the ES samples compared to individual OF. Pooled oral fluids samples had an overall sensitivity of 50%(IAV)and 80%(PRRSV)relative to individual pen OF.
In summary, ES appears to be a good strategy when sampling for IAV and not a reliable option when trying to diagnose PRRSV.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus and its transmission
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) causes highly contagious viral enteritis in swine. In May 2013, a PEDV strain, genetically related to a Chinese strain, was introduced in the US and spread rapidly across the country causing high mortality in piglets. Over eight million pigs were killed during this outbreak, leading to an estimated loss of 1.8 billion US dollars.
Transmission of PEDV primarily occurs by the fecal-oral route, but indirect transmission can occur when an animal comes in contact with inanimate objects (fomites) contaminated with the feces of PEDV-infected animals.
200 μL of virus containing 2.1 × 106 TCID50/mL was applied on various fomite material: Styrofoam, nitrile gloves, cardboard, aluminum foil, Tyvek® coveralls, cloth, metal, rubber, and plastic. The virus-contaminated fomites were then stored at either 4◦C or at room temperature. Samples were then taken at 0,1 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 days post-contamination to test for virus stability.
Infectious PEDV was recovered from fomite materials for up to 15 days post application at 4◦C; only 1 to 2 logs of virus were inactivated during the first 5 days post application. On the other hand, PEDV survival decreased precipitously at room temperature within 1 to 2-days post application, losing 2 to 4 log titers within 24 h as can be seen on the figure above.
Immunoplaque assay was used to identify positive fomites after 20 days of storage at 4◦C. Immunoplaque assay is much more sensitive than PCR and can detect virus as low concentration as 24 focus forming units/mL. Titers of approximately 1 × 10^3 FFU/mL were observed in eluates from Styrofoam, metal, and plastic, representing a 3-log virus inactivation after 20 days. The surviving virus on Tyvek® coverall and rubber surfaces was moderately above detection limit (24 FFU/mL).
Indirect transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) ensues when susceptible animals contact PEDV-contaminated fomite materials. Although the survival of PEDV under various pHs and temperatures has been studied, virus stability on different fomite surfaces under varying temperature conditions has not been explored. Hence, we evaluated the survival of PEDV on inanimate objects routinely used on swine farms such as styrofoam, rubber, plastic, coveralls, and other equipment. The titer of infectious PEDV at 4 °C decreased by only 1 to 2 log during the first 5 days, and the virus was recoverable for up to 15 days on Styrofoam, aluminum, Tyvek® coverall, cloth, and plastic. However, viral titers decreased precipitously when stored at room temperature; no virus was detectable after one day on all materials tested. A more sensitive immunoplaque assay was able to detect virus from Styrofoam, metal, and plastic at 20 days post application, representing a 3-log loss of input virus on fomite materials. Recovery of infectious PEDV from Tyvek® coverall and rubber was above detection limit at 20 days. Our findings indicate that the type of fomite material and temperatures impact PEDV stability, which is important in understanding the nuances of indirect transmission and epidemiology of PEDV.
PRRS virus can be detected in the environment of the farrowing house (surfaces and air) and on the udder skin of lactating sows. However, PRRSV detection in the environment decreases as time after an outbreak increases.
PRRSV was not detected in the environment after 4 months of an outbreak
Role of environmental PRRSV in the transmission of the disease is still unknown.
In this study, udder and surface wipes as well as particle deposition wipes were collected both at processing and at weaning, starting 2 weeks after the PRRSV outbreak.
Results showed that PRRSV was detected at processing up to 14 weeks after the outbreak in surfaces and udder skin of lactating sows. At weaning, PRRSV was detected up to 17 weeks post-outbreak using udder skin wipes. The number of positive samples decreased over time and the Ct values of the positive samples increased over time indicating a decrease in infection load overtime. Detection of airborne particle deposition positive samples followed a similar pattern to those of the crate surfaces and udder wipes. Virus could be isolated and sequenced from all sample types.
Udder skin and environment may play a role in the transmission and maintenance of PRRSV in piglets in breeding herds; however further research is needed to validate this observation.