Farmscape for November 1, 2019
Pork producers are advised to step up their focus on transport biosecurity for cull sows and market hogs in the face of animals infected with Strep zoo showing up at slaughter.
Streptococcus zooepidemicus, or Strep zoo, has been identified as a potential emerging disease threat in North America.
Although the bacteria is typically naturally present in the microbiome of the pig, it has recently been linked to cases of sudden death in pigs in Manitoba and the U.S. Midwest.
Dr. Matheus Costa, an Adjunct Professor with the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Assistant Professor with the University of Minnesota, says the main economic implication is with animal movement and trade, especially in the case of cull sows.
Clip-Dr. Matheus Costa-University of Saskatchewan:
What we know so far is it will lead to high mortality rates.
We're talking about something between 25 and 50 percent of an affected herd dying in the case of an outbreak.
Because it is part of the normal bacterial population of healthy animals, we don't know when it's coming.
We cant tell exactly what triggers it and it will just appear in a suseptible population.
We're working towards understanding this problem a bit better.
We're working towards clarifying what's going on when it comes to the bacteria itself, why is this bacteria potentially emerging right now and we're also working towards developing strategies to at least mitigate the infection.
Would that be an autogenous vaccine, would that be some kind of environmental disinfection?
We're not quite sure yet but we have a great team together, a great set of minds looking at this aspect and will hopefully come back with better responses soon.
Dr. Costa says we know cull sows and replacement gilts might be more susceptible but we're not sure why.
He says, with cull sows, especially if they're going to be slaughtered in a different province or country, we'll want to address the infection before they get there so we aren't surprised by a high mortality rate.
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