September 2017 SHIC eNewsletter
September 5, 2017
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November 6, 2017
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October 2017 SHIC eNewsletter

SHIC’s US Swine Disease Monitoring System Underway


SHIC Rapid Response Corps Training Now Live


SHIC Reports PRRSv Diagnostic Progress in Uruguay


Oral Fluid ELISA Tests Funded


SHIC Leverages Leman Conference Attendance


SHIC Diagnostic Fee Support Fills Financial Gaps

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 https://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at psundberg@swinehealth.org.

SHIC’s US Swine Disease Monitoring System Underway

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) is supporting a near real-time domestic swine disease monitoring system using new technology. The system will generate information useful for economic and animal health decision-making. Data will be analyzed to describe disease activity by major pathogen and/or by clinical syndrome, documenting disease activity (presence, incidence) with respect to geography while maintaining appropriate producer confidentiality.

A joint project between Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota, this new near real-time domestic monitoring system will allow:

  1. Identifying and characterizing domestic emerging or endemic disease trends
  2. Assisting in quantification of the economic impact of disease in specific regions
  3. Enabling the progress of regional disease control programs

The system has the field veterinarian and producer as its main audience. Information in the system will be based on existing veterinary diagnostic laboratory (VDL) data and will flow through SHIC on a regular schedule to the industry, beginning late in 2017.

Aggregating data while respecting confidentiality and producer anonymity, the system will ensure data quality and integrity for optimum reporting. Frequency of detection of major pathogens will be reported by age group, sample type, and region. Other pathogens will be grouped into pre-defined categories and also reported by age group, sample type, and region.

To implement large-scale infectious disease control and management projects, precise, science-based information is required. By funding this project, SHIC leads the industry toward better swine health information and positively impacts 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.

 

SHIC Rapid Response Corps Training Now Live

Memories of PEDv are never far from pork industry stakeholders’ minds. Anticipating another novel or transboundary disease will someday strike, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) took on creation of a Rapid Response Program including the infrastructure ability to respond to an outbreak from a known or unknown etiology. SHIC funded a proposal from Iowa State University to develop the Rapid Response Program including creation of a Rapid Response Corps, a team of skilled and purposefully trained persons.

Training for Corps members is now available online at the SHIC website. While Corps members will be required to participate in the online training, it is open to all who are interested in the Rapid Response Program or wish to grow their knowledge of epidemiological investigation and processes. The objective of the newly available training program is to standardize the conduct of epidemiological investigations conducted by the Rapid Response Corps in the event of a swine disease outbreak.

“Quick response in the event of a new incident requires collaboration, training, and willingness to participate in the process,” remarked Dr. Paul Sundberg, executive director of SHIC. Corps members have been identified and recruited through nomination. The Corps will consist of veterinarians, state and federal animal health officials, diagnosticians, virologists, and epidemiologists.

When a disease investigation is requested by a producer or veterinarian, SHIC will coordinate engaging Rapid Response Corps members in the appropriate region. Within 72 hours of notification, a Rapid Response Team will be able to be on site to conduct the epidemiological investigation in cooperation with the producer and veterinarian. SHIC has a cooperative agreement with USDA to help fund the Rapid Response Corps investigations.

 

SHIC Reports PRRSv Diagnostic Progress in Uruguay

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) continues to monitor emerging swine disease issues globally and reports the PRRSv strain discovered in sera of sows in five premises in Uruguay this July has been identified as a type 2 North American genotype. PRRSv has historically been reported in other South American countries, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Venezuela, though this is a novel incident in Uruguay.

In a report prepared by the University of Minnesota with information provided by officials in Uruguay, 24 serum samples have tested positive for the presence of PRRSv antibodies by indirect ELISA. In addition, 15 and 19 sera were also positive by immunofluorescence assay (IFA) using the US MN field strain and the reference strain US VR2332 respectively. RT-PCR results showed 13 positive sera for the type 2 North American type (PRRSV-NA), however, samples were negative for the type 1 European PRRSv (PRRSV-EU).

Sequences obtained from sera collected from affected sows in Uruguay share common ancestors (95.1 to 96.2 percent identities) with North American strains described between 2004 and 2015. Research also showed the sequences identified in Uruguay to be genetically distant from other strains reported in South America as well as commercial vaccines. To read the entire University of Minnesota report, click here.

Sharing information on PRRSv in Uruguay is an example of the continued monitoring and reporting responsibility SHIC fulfills. More regular releases of global swine disease incidence information will be provided by SHIC when the recently announced near real-time global swine disease monitoring system is in place. Work is already underway and the system is being tested and validated currently.

 

Oral Fluid ELISA Tests Funded

Export markets play a big role in pork producers’ profitability. The ability to show when the national herd has or has not been exposed to a pathogen will help to keep exports growing and viable. Producers and their veterinarians may also be able to contain a pathogen more quickly if a diagnosis is determined through ELISA tests for oral fluids.

Research projects funded by the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) this week will result in developing ELISA tests for use with oral fluids for selected pathogens on the Swine Disease Matrix. The pathogens were selected by the SHIC Preparedness and Response Working Group as being those presenting the highest current or future need for an oral fluid ELISA. This process included evaluation of possible need to be able to:

  • measure national, regional, state or local herd status for the pathogen
  • show the lack of exposure to the agent to trading partners or other stakeholders, keeping or re-opening export markets has a big impact on producers

ELISA only shows there has been exposure to the agent, not if it is still there or if there is an infection. With the development of oral fluid ELISA, measuring exposure and impact will be simplified and response to possible outbreaks will be accelerated due to the nature and speed of the oral fluid ELISA test.

To see the entire Swine Disease Matrix, click here.

 

SHIC Leverages Leman Conference Attendance

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) was a key participant in the Allen D. Leman Swine Conference last month. All interactions during the Conference increased the Center’s presence, engagement with other industry organizations, and grew awareness of the value of SHIC-initiated projects to protect the health of the U.S. swine herd.

During the SHIC break out session, participants were updated on SHIC projects. It was also an opportunity to gather input into current SHIC priorities as well as ideas for the 2018 plan of work for the organization. SHIC also offered support and conducted planning on the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project with University of Minnesota staff, coordinated with representatives of Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories, and gained additional insight into African Swine Fever from international experts.

The annual conference brings swine health professionals from across the nation together to learn about the latest research and information. SHIC is a key participant in the conference, representing the role of the Center in accomplishing its mission to protect and enhance the health of the United States swine herd through coordinated global disease monitoring, targeted research investments that minimize the impact of future disease threats, and analysis of swine health data.

Access the 2017 SHIC plan of work here.

Access the SHIC Swine Disease Matrix here.

 

SHIC Diagnostic Fee Support Fills Financial Gaps

In cases of high or ongoing morbidity or mortality, where cause is either not identified or diagnosis is questionable, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) may be able to help pay for further diagnostic work.

Because there is risk of missing an emerging disease if a definitive diagnosis is not pursued diligently, SHIC recognized limitations on resources may be a barrier and developed this program to assist at the production level for the benefit of the national herd.

To qualify for fee assistance, the diagnostician of the case needs to initiate the process and the following requirements must be met:

  1. Case involves high or ongoing morbidity or mortality
  2. Routine diagnostics matching the clinical presentation have been completed
  3. Results of routine diagnostics are unsatisfactory due to veterinarian’s clinical judgment or lack of identified cause

The process includes forms available online at www.swinehealth.org/diagnostic-fees-diagnosticians-form and maintaining appropriate producer confidentiality according to the producer direction or state or federal animal health regulations.

  1. The originating diagnostician will submit the online form to a panel of diagnosticians for review
  2. SHIC will confirm the state animal health officer has been informed and a decision on initiating a foreign animal disease investigation has been considered
  3. The originating diagnostician is responsible for providing a case record including verifying the submitting producer or veterinarian has given permission for further testing
  4. The SHIC Diagnostician Panel will contact the originating diagnostician within 48 hours with a written report of further test recommendations
  5. The originating diagnostician does follow up with a report of the test results to the Panel and is responsible for generating a final report to the submitter, Diagnostician Panel, and SHIC
  6. When the final report is accepted, SHIC will pay the additional diagnostic fees

When questions are more plentiful than resources for diagnostic work, SHIC can help! For more information, contact SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg at (515) 598-4553 or psundberg@swinehealth.org.