SHIC Board Approves Project to Examine Future Industry Needs and Introduces PCR Assay Catalog

For Immediate Release: June 25, 2018

Ames, Iowa — Always concerned about the future of the pork industry, the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Board of Directors June meeting included review of the organization’s mission statement and funding approval for two new projects. Additionally this month, SHIC completed and published the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Assay Catalog for diagnostic laboratories containing information on 17 new tests developed.


SHIC Funds Two New Preparedness and Readiness Projects

“Asking the right questions is crucial and for that reason the Board approved a proposal from Iowa State University to study if a swine health monitoring program, modeled after the poultry industry’s National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP), is feasible for the pork industry,” explained Dr. Paul Sundberg, executive director of SHIC. During the study, Investigators will rely on an advisory group to oversee development of a findings report.

The Iowa State University study will objectively examine NPIP and see if any parts can be translated to the US pork industry. The project will begin with reviewing possible future industry needs for swine health assurances to protect or enhance international trade. Then the group will consider if current programs, or a new pork NPIP-like program, could satisfy those needs in a sustainable manner. For an answer to whether a NPIP-like program is needed and feasible, questions of synergy with existing swine programs, organizations and structure, state/federal/private contributions to funding, and sustainability will be considered.

The second study approved for funding by the SHIC Board is with South Dakota State University for the development of a multiplex real-time PCR and antibody reagents for the detection of swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV). Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv), porcine deltacorona virus and SADS-CoV are circulating in sow herds in the Far East, continuing to cause significant neonatal mortality. This study will arm US veterinary diagnostic lab swine disease diagnosticians with the ability for early detection of the recently discovered SADS-CoV that may be emerging in China.


SHIC Drives Improved Readiness for Emerging Disease with PCR Catalog

When porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) hit the US in 2013, the industry could not effectively test for it. Diagnostic preparedness and readiness for possible new or emerging production diseases has been a focus of SHIC since its 2015 inception. The recent publication of the SHIC-initiated and funded PCR Assay Catalog for diagnostic laboratories demonstrates how far the pork industry has advanced in ability to test for emerging diseases.

“Early detection is critical to early response. The catalog provides diagnosticians at our veterinary diagnostic labs, who are working every day with swine health case submissions, pertinent information about the 17 new SHIC-funded PCR tests recently developed, including contact information of the experts for questions about availability and use. Additionally, the catalog summarizes the research behind the test development and covers technical background information including sample types and analytical and diagnostic sensitivity and specificity,” Dr. Sundberg remarked. The catalog is being sent to veterinary diagnostic labs and has been posted on the SHIC website to be readily available.

From evaluating risks via the SHIC Swine Disease Matrix and assessing current diagnostic needs to be able to quickly identify these pathogens, to funding the development of tests, SHIC has led the pork industry to an additional level of readiness which puts the US industry on a different playing field than it was on prior to its inception.


SHIC Mission Statement

The mission of the Swine Health Information Center 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.

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].