Farmscape for May 7, 2020
Scientists are identifying promising approaches for evaluating the resilience of genetic stock to disease challenges.
Since 2015 an international team of scientists has been contributing to a natural disease challenge model for evaluating the resilience of swine to disease.
Dr. John Harding, a professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says the work, which is centered at the CDPQ wean to finish commercial research facilities in Quebec, is intended to identify factors that can determine disease resilience in genetic stock.
Clip-Dr. John Harding-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
One of the most promising and the earliest one we found is called variation in feed intake or feed duration.
Animals that have quite variable feed intake, so when they go into a heavily challenged period in their life, they drop off feed intake quite dramatically and then it comes back up, those animals are less resilient.
We can actually measure feed intake on an individual basis, calculate the variation on a daily basis and use that as a very good predicter of resilience.
There are some promising immune measures that we've come up with.
These are phenotypic measures that are gathered in the quarantine nursery so that would mimic what we could gather in the genetic nucleolus or multiplication farm.
Some of those are natural antibodies.
There's a couple of mitogen assays, so how we use blood cells to stimulate them in the laboratory and measure how those cells change over time.
Another very promising one is called the high immune response technology.
That is measures of both the antibody and the cellular immune response that we can do in a high health situation and that appears to correlate with disease resilience as well.
Dr. Harding says some approaches are very promising, some are moving forward and some need a bit more data.
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