Call for Research Proposals

Swine Health Information Center
2017 Call for Swine Disease Matrix Research Preproposals



The mission of the Swine Health Information Center is to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd through coordinated global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data and targeted research investments that minimize the impact of future disease threats.

In collaboration with the American Association of Swine Veterinarians, the National Pork Board and the National Pork Producers Council, the Swine Health Information Center has developed and prioritized a list of endemic and foreign swine pathogens.

Known as the Swine Disease Matrix, the list includes an assessment of the diagnostic capabilities for selected pathogens, based on a review of available literature.  The Matrix and the assessment of diagnostic capabilities can be found at

Organizing and funding the research needed for diagnostic and informational preparedness for the prioritized, potential production diseases of the Swine Disease Matrix is a core activity of the Center. The SHIC 2017 Swine Disease Matrix research focuses on the development and validation (analytic and diagnostic) of antibody detection assays for antibodies important for monitoring for emerging diseases, determining freedom from disease (after an outbreak) or defining the extent of disease spread.  The outcome of the research should be assays with a consistent and reliable means to screen populations using:

  • high throughput capacity (high volume of samples and quick turnaround time),
  • the ability to detect antibody in sera and oral fluids and
  • DIVA capability if vaccine availability justifies the need for a DIVA assay.


Preproposal Content

  1. The preproposal should identify the Swine Disease Matrix pathogen(s) of interest for this critical work.
    1. The focus of this research program is on transboundary diseases that are not endemic to the U.S.  If proposed, justification will be needed for funding a proposal to develop a new assay for an endemic pathogen.
    2. The National Pork Board has a research program specifically for foreign animal diseases so proposals for assays for classical foreign animal diseases – FMD, CSF and ASF – will not be considered for funding.
  2. The preproposal should identify the laboratory with an appropriate level of biosecurity, if the work is to be done in the U.S., or should identify federal, allied industry or university coinvestigators or collaborators that have partnerships in other countries that can give access to known endemic or experimentally infected positive populations of animals for use in the project.
  3. The preproposal should contain a brief description of the fitness for use of existing antibody detection tests and the justification of why a new or modified antibody detection test is needed.
  4. The preproposal should contain a description of the antibody detection technology proposed to be used.  Varied technologies may be proposed, but strong justification is needed for why a specific technology other than the standard ELISA technology, that is commonly used in today’s laboratories, may be better.
  5. The preproposal should contain a brief description of the methods proposed to be used in the assay development.
  6. The preproposal should contain a preliminary estimate of the expected cost to the Swine Health Information Center to conduct this work.

Preliminary proposals need to be submitted to by midnight, June 16, 2017.  For questions, please contact Dr. Paul Sundberg, SHIC Executive Director, at

Swine Health Information Center Call for Swine Disease Pathogen Detection Research Proposal


The Swine Health Information Center is asking for preliminary proposal(s), in a standardized form provided by the Center, from laboratories interested in performing Swine Disease Matrix antigen detection research.  The Center is asking for laboratories to identify up to five of the pathogens on the Swine Disease Matrix for which the laboratory has the interest and capacity to conduct the research and then to submit a one-page SHIC preliminary proposal form for each of the pathogens of interest.

Also included in the preliminary proposal(s) for each pathogen should be a brief description of the laboratory’s plan for ensuring that the pathogen will not be introduced into the U.S. if it is not currently endemic.  That description could include plans for international collaborations, biosecurity/biocontainment facilities or other methods.  The important criteria for selection are the lab’s interest, capacity and biocontainment plan.  There is no need to try to select “high priority” viruses for the project.

Preliminary proposals need to be submitted to by midnight, June 7, 2016.  Please contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at if you have any questions.

Swine Health Information Center Call for Seneca Valley Virus Research Proposals


There are reports of increased discovery of Seneca Valley Virus (SVV) in pigs in the United States and Brazil. The Swine Health Information Center is soliciting proposals to investigate SVV epidemiology and diagnostics capability.

Proposals must be submitted in the required format provided with the RFP in order to be considered. Interlaboratory collaboration that strengthens the proposal will be a factor in funding decisions. All funded projects are expected to be completed within 6 months of funding. Final funding decisions will be made by the Swine Health Information Center.

Proposals should be emailed to and must be received by 5:00 PM CDT September 21, 2015.

Further enquiries regarding this solicitation can be directed to Dr. Paul Sundberg by email at or by phone: 515-451-6652.

Koch’s Postulates

The pathogenicity of SVV in swine remains unclear. Its relevance lies mainly in its suspected link to idiopathic vesicular disease and resemblance to more clinically and economically disruptive vesicular FADs. Multiple cases of swine with vesicular lesions in the United States have been reported in which SVV was the only detected pathogen.

The Swine Health Information Center would like to investigate the pathogenicity of SVV in pigs through testing Koch’s Postulates using:

  • a historic, endemic strain known to be present in the United States,
  • a contemporary U.S. strain associated with a more severe clinical presentation than what would be historically expected, and
  • an isolate associated with severe clinical presentation in Brazil.

The study design should consider pigs with normal immune status compared to pigs immunocompromised by a standardized immunocompromising protocol, standardized transport, and/or other stressors.

Characterization of the Virus

The Swine Health Information Center would like to characterize historical and contemporary U.S. SVV isolates and Brazilian SVV isolates in order to determine genetic differences among strains that could affect specificity of diagnostic tests and/or be associated with more severe clinical presentation.

SVV Diagnostics

The Swine Health Information Center would like to have developed new antibody detection assays that provide more rapid, cost-effective detection to assist diagnostic discovery in tissues or sera and to differentiate SVV from other disease agents of swine that cause vesicular lesions.

It is the policy of the Swine Health Information Center to not pay indirect or overhead charges for research conducted at public institutions and universities.  If you have any questions, please contact SHIC at