Strep Diagnosis in Swine Assembly Yards Spurs Response

The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (ISU VDL) has confirmed Streptococcus equi ssp zooepidemicus in two recent, potentially related cases of sows for slaughter and feeder pigs in assembly yards in the Midwest. The bacterial sepsis caused by the strep has resulted in high mortality rates. Dr. Rodger Main, director of operations at the ISU VDL, shared information on these unique cases with the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) as well as the US swine veterinary and pork industry stakeholder communities. SHIC joins the ISU VDL in encouraging attention to farm and transport biosecurity, adequate cleaning and disinfection procedures – particularly of trucks and trailers interacting with markets and first points of concentration. Prevention, diagnosis, and possibly treatment also need the industry’s attention, should similar cases become evident in commercial herds. Both African swine fever and classical swine fever were ruled out during testing due to similar presentations – a necessary step in any further diagnostic work for suspected cases. As part of SHIC’s mission, it is offering support to further characterize the strep bacteria from the two cases from the ISU VDL to increase understanding of its epidemiology.

Streptococcus equi ssp zooepidemicus is commonly found in nature, particularly in horses, and has been recently found in dog kennels as well. There have also been confirmed cases in swine in western Canada recently. This, and any strep, has the potential to infect multiple species, including humans.

Funded by America’s pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd, the Swine Health Information Center focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research for the benefit of swine health. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at [email protected].