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There is a Need for National Influenza Surveillance in Swine
In today’s post, we would like to highlight the value of flu surveillance in swine as well as to acknowledge the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (UMN-VDL) as a long-standing and committed contributor to the USDA Voluntary Influenza A Virus (IAV) in Swine Surveillance program. Thanks to this surveillance program, the U.S. swine industry has ample information available for analysis and to support influenza-related research, vaccinology and diagnostics.
The objectives of the USDA Voluntary IAV in Swine Surveillance program are:
- Monitor genetic evolution of endemic influenza in swine to better understand endemic and emerging influenza virus ecology.
- Make available influenza isolates for research and to establish an objective database for genetic analysis of these isolates and related information.
- Select proper isolates for the development of relevant diagnostic reagents, updating diagnostic assays, and vaccine seedstock products.
Antimicrobial Resistance Projects: Towards Antimicrobial Stewardship
This article was written by Drs. CJ Gebhart, KE Olsen and JL Torrison from the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota.
The emergence of antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and the environment is a major global public health threat to both human and veterinary medicine. Efforts to address this important issue involve government, industry, academia, and most notably, veterinary diagnostic laboratories (VDLs). These efforts include surveillance to assess the extent resistance in human and animal pathogens and the development of policies to monitor and control antimicrobial resistance.
A collaborative effort involving the stakeholders listed above is the key to addressing this emerging threat of antimicrobial resistance and VDLs play major roles in these collaborative efforts. As reported in a Commentary by GK Hendrix in the Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation in 2018, VDLs are the “nexus in the battle against antimicrobial resistance” (1). The University of Minnesota VDL Bacteriology Section performs almost 30,000 bacterial cultures annually, and most of the pathogenic isolates are archived for future use. These uses include further testing (subtyping, virulence gene assays, serotyping, etc.), use in disease control efforts (autogenous vaccines, etc.), various research projects, and surveillance studies. Almost 5,000 of these pathogenic bacteria are subjected to antimicrobial resistance testing annually, and these antimicrobial minimum inhibitory concentration data are archived for decades for further use.
For our part in this aforementioned collaborative effort in antimicrobial stewardship, the University of Minnesota VDL is actively involved in two collaborative government-organized antimicrobial resistance projects as well as several collaborative academic research projects on antimicrobial resistance. The common goal of the collaborative government projects is to determine the population and distribution of resistant bacteria in the U.S.
The first of these projects is the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) project (2). This project has 19 AAVLD-accredited laboratories throughout the U.S. and Canada participating with the objective of monitoring antimicrobial resistance profiles in animal pathogens routinely isolated from VDLs. Ultimately, this project will result in a national centralized data collection and reporting process, using harmonized methods and antimicrobial resistance interpretation and reporting standards. It aims to monitor data for trends in antimicrobial resistance phenotypes (and eventually genotypes) by identifying new or emerging resistance profiles, monitoring usefulness of antimicrobials over time, and reporting these trends to facilitate antimicrobial stewardship efforts.
This USDA project began in January, 2018, and initially involved collection of isolates and antimicrobial resistance data from Escherischia coli (all species), Salmonella enterica (all species), Mannheimia haemolytica (cattle) and Staphylococcus intermedius group (companion animals) from routine VDL submissions. A target of about 3,000 isolates will be collected from the participating VDLs annually and archived for further testing. The antimicrobial testing data will be tracked and stored by USDA for each isolate and an annual report will be prepared for stakeholders. This report will include antimicrobial resistance trends for antibiotics important for human and animal health and the distribution of minimum inhibitory concentrations for each antimicrobial monitored for each bacterial pathogen for each animal species included in the study.
The second of these collaborative antimicrobial resistance projects is the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary-Laboratory Investigation and Response Network (Vet-LIRN) project (3). This project has 21 AAVLD-accredited laboratories participating with the objective of performing surveillance of antimicrobial susceptibility testing results and whole genome sequencing of pathogens from the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System scope of interest (4).
This FDA project began in January, 2017, and initially involved collection of isolates and data for three zoonotic bacterial pathogens, with several other bacterial species added to the project in July, 2018. About 2,000 isolates have been collected since project inception, and the FDA has randomly selected about 200 of these isolates for whole genome sequencing. The remaining isolates have been archived for future studies. As an additional benefit related to this project, the University of Minnesota VDL received funds from FDA to purchase an Illumina iSeq Sequencer and participate in a collaborative project designed to increase the number and capabilities of network laboratories involved in the whole genome sequencing portion of this FDA project. Standardization and harmonization of these bacterial genome sequencing abilities among participating laboratories is further designed to increase the network capacity and facilitate future outbreak investigations.
In summary, in support of antimicrobial stewardship efforts, the University of Minnesota VDL Bacteriology Section provides clinical isolates and antimicrobial susceptibility testing data for two collaborative government-initiated projects, one in collaboration with the USDA and the other with the FDA. Further, the VDL as a whole provides leadership in antimicrobial stewardship on a daily basis, cooperating with disease outbreak investigations, collaborating with academic and industrial researchers, and educating veterinarians, clients and the public on issues of antimicrobial stewardship (1).
1. Hendrix, GK. 2018. The Role of Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories in the Fight Against Antimicrobial Resistance
2. USDA. 2018. USDA’s Role in Combatting Antimicrobial Resistance.
3. FDA. 2018. Veterinary Laboratory Investigation and Response Network.
Science Page: Antibiotic susceptibility in Pasturella multocida and Streptococcus suis isolated at the Minnesota VDL
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.
Antimicrobial resistance has been a preoccupying topic for the past few years. We talked before about what the definition of antibiotic resistance is and how it can be interpreted in two different manners. This week, Dr. Alvarez from the STEMMA lab is reporting the trends in antimicrobial susceptibility observed in strains of Streptococcus suis and Pasteurella multocida isolated at the Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory over the past 10 years. S. suis and P. multocida are common swine pathogens that can cause severe economic losses. Knowing which antibiotics are more likely to be efficient against those bacteria can help in tackling the disease faster.
- MN-VDL data was analyzed to study antibiotic susceptibility in clinical isolates of Pasteurella multocida and Streptococcus suis from 2006 to 2016.
- Isolates were highly susceptible to Ampicillin, Ceftiofur, Enrofloxacin and Florfenicol throughout the study period.
- There were no changes in antibiotic susceptibility against the antibiotics tested routinely across the study period.
2016 Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Report: a new director, PRRS, PEDV, and Senecavirus
The Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory’s mission is to protect and promote animal and human health through early detection and monitoring of animal diseases.
The 2016 report was published last month and we are compiling here the highlights related to swine. We can also read the full 2016 UMN VDL report.
- In April 2016, the VDL welcomed its new director Dr. Jerry Torrison.
- More than 50% of the procedures in the VDL were related to the porcine species last year.
- A new multiplex PCR test that combines Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv), Porcine Deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) and Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus (TGEV) into one assay was implemented into the Molecular Diagnostic clinical testing schedule effective October 31st, 2016. The new assay provides clients with timely, quality results for all three viruses at the same time. The VDL ran 40,131 PEDv and PDCoV Multiplex Real Time PCR tests and 5,238 Triplex (PEDv/TGE/PDCoV) RT-PCR tests.
Additionally, the Serology lab conducted intensive testing in collaboration with Zoetis for validation of PED antibody test kit which they are planning to release on the market soon.
- Seneca Valley Virus PCR was validated and is part of routine testing. 3,205 Senecavirus A EZ Real time RT-PCR tests were run. An ELISA test for antibodies to Seneca Valley Virus in pigs is also available.
- The IHC lab participated in the 2016 AAVLD/NVSL Program for Inter-laboratory Comparison, and scored 100% in its detection of Porcine Circovirus type 2 in the test samples provided.