Farmscape for November 18, 2020
The identification of a novel strain of A. suis in western Canada highlights the importance of biosecurity.
Actinobacillus suis is a bacteria commonly found in the upper respiratory tract of pigs but, in certain cases, it will result in disease with symptoms ranging from coughing and difficulty breathing to fever, lameness and even sudden death.
Dr. Matheus Costa, an Assistant Professor with the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an adjunct professor with Utrecht University, says an investigation of A. suis isolates obtained from clinical cases in western Canada has revealed the emergence of a novel strain.
Clip-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
We believe the A. suis population in Canada is somewhat stable.
We have a lot of A. suis that are exactly the same or very similar so they are not really changing over time.
We have isolates from the early 2000s and we have compared them to isolates we obtained over the past year and they are very similar.
Interestingly though, we did observe some introductions that were unexpected.
We have identified isolates that were previously characterised in pigs in Brazil and we have found isolates that were similar to those in farms in Canada.
That being said, it doesn't mean they must have come from Brazil.
It just means that the first time this isolate was characterised it was from a pig in Brazil and now we're comparing to that.
It could very well have come from a common source before that or even from Canada and they happened to collect that data before we did.
Either way, the fact that we observed these different introductions over time, it still should raise a red flag that we should be keeping attention to transportation and biosecurity to make sure that we prevent new isolates from coming into the Canadian herd because, once we have that, our pigs may not be protected from those specific strains and then they will develop severe disease.
Dr. Costa says, in times of ASF and COVID, it makes sense to keep on our biosecurity hats all of the time.
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