M. hyopneumoniae monitoring should be performed in incoming gilts and recipient herd.
Gilt acclimation against M. hyopneumoniae aids to maintain farm health stability.
Vaccination is the main strategy used to acclimate gilts in Europe and North America
Monitoring and diagnosis of M.hyopneumoniae
The article first covers how to assess the M. hyopneumoniae health status of the herd. Various methods of monitoring and diagnosis are detailed and compared with each other.
Most commonly used: M. hyopneumoniae antibody detection by ELISA but the interpretation of the results can be challenging.
Most useful technique: PCR on different respiratory tract samples.
No consensus on sample type to detect bacterial DNA in live pigs.
Classification of the herd based on incoming replacement and recipient herd
Proposed farm classification according to M. hyopneumoniae health status. (aELISA results (negative/positive) could depend on infection pattern in the farm and sampling time point.)
Subclinical infected I
Subclinical infected II
Prevention and control
Vaccination against M. hyopneumoniae, using commercial vaccines, is the most commonly used strategy to control its associated diseases in worldwide swine production systems.
However, since protection against M. hyopneumoniae infection by commercial vaccines is not complete, antimicrobial treatments are frequently required to control disease outcome. Several antibiotic classes are effective in reducing the incidence and severity of M. hyopneumoniae compatible lung lesions: macrolides, lincosamides, tetracycline, and fluoroquinolones among others.
The most common replacement origin used in Europe was external and that most respondents knew M. hyopneumoniae health status of replacement on arrival, being in most of the cases seropositive. Nevertheless, only 28% of respondents verified this theoretical M. hyopneumoniae status given as ELISA test results. Additionally, the most used strategy to acclimate gilt was vaccination alone (58%).
Gilt Development Units are utilized to allow ample time to incoming gilt to gradually adopt the health status of the recipient herd. These acclimation facilities are in most of the cases continuous flow allowing an effective gilt exposure to M. hyopneumoniae. Gilt vaccination in North American swine industry was also recognized as the most common practice used at acclimation.
Natural exposure was also used in both continents to help acclimate the incoming gilts to M.hyopneumoniae. However, taking into account that pig-to-pig transmission of this bacterium has proven to be extremely slow , the ratio of infected and naïve gilts as well as the time of exposure are crucial and should be considered to achieve an effective exposure.
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae) is the primary causative agent of enzootic pneumonia (EP), one of the most economically important infectious disease for the swine industry worldwide. M. hyopneumoniae transmission occurs mainly by direct contact (nose-to-nose) between infected to susceptible pigs as well as from infected dams to their offspring (sow-to-piglet). Since disease severity has been correlated with M. hyopneumoniae prevalence at weaning in some studies, and gilts are considered the main bacterial shedders, an effective gilt acclimation program should help controlling M. hyopneumoniae in swine farms. The present review summarizes the different M. hyopneumoniae monitoring strategies of incoming gilts and recipient herd and proposes a farm classification according to their health statuses. The medication and vaccination programs against M. hyopneumoniae most used in replacement gilts are reviewed as well. Gilt replacement acclimation against M. hyopneumoniae in Europe and North America indicates that vaccination is the main strategy used, but there is a current trend in US to deliberately expose gilts to the pathogen.
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:
No 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.
In lieu of the Science Page today, we are bringing you our most popular articles on the blog this past year: a publication by Dr. Maria Pieters, head of the MycoLab called Sample and diagnostic types for early detection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae.
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae is the causative agent enzootic pneumonia, an economically significant disease in pigs. In this study published by Drs. Pieters and Rovira from the University of Minnesota, pigs experimentally inoculated with M.hyopneumoniae were sampled 0, 2, 5, 9, 14, 21, and 28 post-inoculation.
Different sample types were compared:
Using different diagnostic tests:
ELISA IgG anti M.hyopneumoniae
ELISA Ig M anti M.hyopneumoniae
ELISA C-reactive protein
Laryngeal swab samples tested by PCR were highly sensitive for detection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in live pigs. Various commercial ELISA kits for detection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae antibodies showed similar sensitivity. Oral fluids showed a low sensitivity for detection of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in experimentally infected pigs.
We launched a new series on the blog last month. Once a month, we are sharing with you a presentation given at the 2017 Allen D. Leman swine conference, on topics that the swine group found interesting, innovative or that lead to great discussions.
Our second presentation today is from Dr. Paul Yeske from Swine Vet Center, who is coming back on his experience with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae elimination and giving us an update if the herds stayed negative.
To listen to this presentation, please click on the picture below:
Enzootic pneumoniae is a chronic respiratory disease caused by Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae in pigs. It has been present in the industry for decades and causes significant economic losses. Yet, control methods like vaccination have not been able to contain the disease. Why is that? What information are we missing to design more effective control methods? This is the goal of the review paper co-authored by Dr. Maria Pieters from the University of Minnesota.
Focusing on various aspects of the disease like epidemiology, pathogenicity, diagnostics, and control measures, this publication regroups all the knowledge we currently have of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae and identifies what we need to investigate to improve disease control.
Click on the banner below to access the full article.
Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (M. hyopneumoniae) is the primary pathogen of enzootic pneumonia, a chronic respiratory disease in pigs. Infections occur worldwide and cause major economic losses to the pig industry. The present paper reviews the current knowledge on M. hyopneumoniae infections, with emphasis on identification and analysis of knowledge gaps for optimizing control of the disease. Close contact between infected and susceptible pigs is the main route of M. hyopneumoniae transmission. Management and housing conditions predisposing for infection or disease are known, but further research is needed to better understand M. hyopneumoniae transmission patterns in modern pig production systems, and to assess the importance of the breeding population for downstream disease control. The organism is primarily found on the mucosal surface of the trachea, bronchi and bronchioles. Different adhesins and lipoproteins are involved in the adherence process. However, a clear picture of the virulence and pathogenicity of M. hyopneumoniae is still missing. The role of glycerol metabolism, myoinositol metabolism and the Mycoplasma Ig binding protein—Mycoplasma Ig protease system should be further investigated for their contribution to virulence. The destruction of the mucociliary apparatus, together with modulating the immune response, enhances the susceptibility of infected pigs to secondary pathogens. Clinical signs and severity of lesions depend on different factors, such as management, environmental conditions and likely also M. hyopneumoniae strain. The potential impact of strain variability on disease severity is not well defined. Diagnostics could be improved by developing tests that may detect virulent strains, by improving sampling in live animals and by designing ELISAs allowing discrimination between infected and vaccinated pigs. The currently available vaccines are often cost-efficient, but the ongoing research on developing new vaccines that confer protective immunity and reduce transmission should be continued, as well as optimization of protocols to eliminate M. hyopneumoniae from pig herds.
This new publication in the Porcine Health Management journal is the result of a collaboration between the University of Barcelona in Spain, PIC (Pig improvement Company) and the MycoLab at the University of Minnesota.
321 farms were surveyed across Europe and Russia regarding their practices for gilt acclimation especially in the context of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. The farms are spread over 18 countries and this is reflected in the strong variation of the measures taken to acclimate the incoming gilt population.
Among the questions asked, the type of farm as well as the size of the herd were recorded. Regarding the gilts, the researchers took into account receiving schedule as well as origin and age in addition to the acclimation measures.
In the table below, you can see the summary of the measures taken to acclimate the gilts to Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. The vast majority of the herds (77%) used vaccination either as a single intervention or coupled with exposure to sows about to be culled. Another popular option (22.4%) was no intervention at all.
Click on the table above to see the full open-access publication.