The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) has posted the first monthly domestic swine disease monitoring report summary. The report is the result of the veterinary diagnostic lab (VDL) data standardization project SHIC supported. Beginning with monitoring of PEDv, PDCoV, and PRRS, the model describes dynamics of disease detection by pathogen over time, specimen, age group, and geographical space. Additional diseases will be included as the program is refined.
The first monthly summary of the data can be found here. To access the full data, follow these steps:
The domestic monitoring report is a SHIC-funded, veterinary diagnostic laboratory collaborative project. An advisory group has been formed to help give context to the data and interpret it. The goal is to aggregate swine diagnostic data from participating reporting VDLs then present it in an intuitive format via shared reports and web dashboards. The report uses data from VDL cases with molecular tests (PCR-based assays and virus genotyping) for these viruses. For this first report, all data was from the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The University of Minnesota VDL will incorporate their data beginning with the next report.
To implement infectious disease control and management, precise, science-based information is required. By funding this project, SHIC leads the industry toward better swine health information to positively impact the long-term sustainability of pork production. The near real-time information on swine disease made available by this system will enable better, faster, and more effective response to endemic or foreign infectious diseases. The result is a stronger, more vibrant U.S. pork industry.
During last week’s National Pork Board Annual Meeting, the delegates attending passed an advisement to continue to support the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC). The advisement supports the work SHIC is doing by encouraging the National Pork Board to continue funding at a level to be determined by the Board.
The Iowa Pork Producers Association and Illinois Pork Producers Association sponsored the advisement and explained the value of SHIC to delegates. Dr. Howard Hill, an Iowa pork producer and veterinarian, gave a brief background of how SHIC was started following the porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus outbreak in 2013. Following the epidemic, producers and organizations gathered to conceptualize a way to help the industry be more prepared for any other emerging disease outbreaks. The result was SHIC which is charged with monitoring the health of the US and international swine herd and in so doing helping the industry prepare, prevent, and respond to future emerging disease threats. The National Pork Board funded this new concept for producers for five years – SHIC has been in existence for 2.5 years.
One lesson learned from the PEDv outbreak, according to Dr. Hill, related to the inconsistency and inability of diagnostic labs being able to easily communicate their swine test results with each other. As a result, one of SHIC’s first successful projects was working with the four labs conducting the majority of swine disease diagnostic tests to redesign their report language so they would be able to quickly share diagnostic test result information with each other. As Dr. Hill explained, this will save crucial time when another outbreak occurs. “This effort will support producers by informing them about emerging diseases and by enhancing the ability to quickly communicate diagnostic information to state and federal officials in the case of a foreign animal disease or a new emerging swine disease,” he stated.
Dr. Hill also said SHIC’s work includes monitoring diseases globally through a project involving data from reporting countries as well as information from contacts throughout the world. Keeping in touch with what is happening globally will alert producers to possible emerging diseases that might risk US production domestically. Quick turnaround research is another example of SHIC’s value. When an emerging swine disease is identified, SHIC can solicit research proposals quickly to get answers needed about managing and controlling the disease in a timely manner.
While the advisement is not binding, it does recommend the National Pork Board to continue this important work and spend producers’ dollars on this valuable project.
SHIC reports positive results from research funded on influenza detection and differentiation diagnostic development; better understanding of influenza control demands sufficient diagnostic capabilities. This has yielded creation of the first 5-Plex RT Influenza PCR for animals that detects and differentiates between Influenza A, B, C and D with one test.
With lessons learned from PED in mind, making sure the pork industry is ready to diagnose emerging diseases is a key part of SHIC’s priorities. When the Swine Disease Matrix was created to help prioritize emerging diseases of risk, Influenza C and D Viruses were added and a review of readiness completed. Gaps in preparedness highlighted the need for better influenza diagnostics to help with monitoring and surveillance.
Dr. Xuming Liu, a member of the Molecular Research and Development team at Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, was tapped to be the principle investigator of the diagnostic development. His team members on the K-State Molecular Research Team have developed over 50 molecular diagnostic assays or DNA sequencing procedures to validate and improve molecular diagnostic methods for pathogens. They also specialize in exploring new technologies to increase throughput capabilities in labs.
Medical professionals have tests for humans and animals to detect and differentiate Influenza A, B, C, and D Viruses (IAV, IBV, ICV, IDV). However, these tests have only a 40 to 60 percent coverage of all the currently available influenza virus sequences, a concern. In addition, the tests are uniplex or diplex and are not able to discern between all the influenza viruses in one step.
Read more about influenza genera at the conclusion of this article.
Liu et al developed and validated a high-coverage multiplex real-time PCR assay to simultaneously detect and differentiate influenza A, B, C, and D viruses plus a control. This first-of-its-kind assay has 98 to 100 percent coverage of all influenza virus sequences while being sensitive and specific. This is a huge improvement over the previous tests’ 40 to 60 percent influenza virus sequence coverage.
The developed assay has wide application for diagnosis, monitoring and surveillance of influenza in swine, bovine, avian, other animals, including humans upon clinical validation.
Influenza A Virus (IAV):
Influenza B Virus (IBV):
Influenza C Virus (ICV): View Fact Sheet
Influenza D Virus (IDV): View Fact Sheet
Currently being beta tested and constantly fine-tuned, SHIC’s Rapid Response Program is ready for deployment when needed. The Program is designed for epidemiological investigations of new emerging, endemic or transboundary swine diseases. Carried out by the Rapid Response Corps, a team who will analyze the patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease outbreaks in affected herds, the Program stands ready to serve US pork producers.
Objectives of the Program are:
What Is the Rapid Response Corps?
Corps members are qualified, trained, and practiced individuals who live in one of the six SHIC Regions and will help with:
Several resources are now available online which may be useful in formulating your own response protocol. Registration provides access to all materials. Everyone is invited and encouraged to explore the resources which include:
In cases of high or ongoing morbidity or mortality, where the cause is either not identified or diagnosis is questionable, SHIC may be able to help pay for further diagnostic work. There is risk of missing an emerging disease if a definitive diagnosis is not pursued diligently. SHIC recognizes limitations on resources may be a barrier and developed this program to assist at the production level for the benefit of the national herd.
Veterinarians and diagnosticians interested in pursuing diagnostic fee support will find required forms and information on SHIC’s website.
How Does the Process Work?
When questions are more plentiful than resources for diagnostic work, SHIC can help!