The Swine Health Information Center’s (SHIC’s) efforts relating to monitoring, analysis, preparedness, and response to emerging diseases, domestic and foreign, are more essential than ever. The organization’s key priorities remain protecting and enhancing the health of the US swine herd. At the same time, the question is being asked, “What if an emerging disease from outside the US hits the US?” as producers observe what’s happening overseas. In SHIC’s 2018 Progress Report, delivered to the National Pork Board and approved on January 8, 2018, the organization’s efforts on behalf of the US pork industry, including working with the other industry’s organizations on African swine fever prevention, were detailed. An executive summary of the report is available here.
Key Preparedness Activities
SHIC published Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Assay Catalog in 2018. The catalog provides diagnosticians with swine health case submissions pertinent information about the 17 new PCR (virus detection) tests funded by SHIC, including contact information of the experts for questions about availability and use. In 2018, research continued to fill in identified preparedness gaps for SHIC Viral Disease Matrix priority pathogens. Information on all SHIC-funded and directed work for PCR tests in 2018 is included in the Progress Report (link). To compliment SHIC’s Viral Disease Matrix, a Bacterial Disease Matrix was also developed and published in 2018.
Monitoring and Mitigating Risks
In 2018, regular publication of both Domestic and Global Swine Disease Reports began. Funded by SHIC and created in collaboration with leading universities, these reports provide near real-time information on disease diagnosis and movement. SHIC also worked with collaborators on feed-related issues, examining risks pertaining to pathogen transmission as well as mitigation. Collaborative work with other industry organizations resulted in the development of seven feed safety questions for producers to ask their suppliers. SHIC is also working with other groups to monitor consistency of international traveler screening processes by US Custom and Border Patrol, providing information to the agency when gaps are reported as a safeguard to the US herd.
Swine Health Information Projects
Review and updating of SHIC’s disease fact sheets was ongoing in 2018, providing refreshed information available on the organization’s website. SHIC also continued work with the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring project. Review of the National Poultry Improvement Plan and its potential for being adapted to the US pork industry is ongoing. And SHIC conducted a meeting of swine information sharing project coordinators for better results for the industry.
Surveillance and Discovery of Emerging Disease
SHIC’s diagnostic funding assistance program provided resources for diagnostic work related to a hemorrhagic tracheitis syndrome in Canada. Monitoring an ongoing SVA outbreak in Brazil as well as well as surveillance system research are other current priorities.
Responding to Emerging Disease
SHIC Rapid Response Teams were activated in 2018, investigating a PEDv outbreak domestically. The work was beneficial for discovery of the virus’s pathway onto the farms as well as for review and improvement of the Program itself.
For detail on these and more projects, review the full SHIC 2018 Progress Report.
SHIC began operation as a 501(c)(3) corporation on July 4, 2015. The organization’s mission is 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.
The National Pork Board, National Pork Producers Council and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians have each appointed two representatives to the SHIC Board of Directors. Three at-large producer representatives are also members of the Board. A Monitoring and Analysis Working Group and a Preparedness and Response Working Group have been formed to provide program oversight and decision-making. Each are actively meeting to fulfill their respective objectives.
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 http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.