SHIC Board of Directors Releases 2017 Plan of Work

Ames, Iowa – The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Plan of Work for 2017 was recently approved by the organization’s Board of Directors and published on their website. Developed along the four primary program areas of the organization, the Plan of Work builds on 2016 accomplishments:

• continuing the Swine Disease Matrix research program

• identifying present and new risks to swine health

• improving the availability of information to help identify regional health differences

• improving ability to detect and respond to emerging diseases



Swine Disease Matrix

SHIC will continue to update and prioritize the Swine Disease Matrix to ensure its accuracy. Research related to the Matrix includes PCR development for selected viruses that weren’t covered during the 2016 research program, clinical validation of PCRs for high interest viruses in the Matrix, and work on serologic test capabilities for selected viruses.


Present and New Risks to Swine Health

To identify risks to swine health, international swine disease monitoring will continue with SHIC coordinating with stakeholder agencies, practitioners, and others with on-the-ground contacts around the world. Taking a look at packing plants, sow buying stations and marketing channels, SHIC will examine regional differences that will help producers be better aware of risks to swine health. Also, SHIC will continue to evaluate risks that could be introduced from common inputs into production, including feed ingredients, vaccines, and others.


Disseminating Swine Health Information

Improving swine health information takes many forms. The Swine Health Monitoring Project will continue with its long-term objective of helping the industry become better prepared to respond to emerging diseases. Improving the availability of up-to-date swine health information will help communicate regional and national risks to herd health. This effort will also help prevent the assumption of an incident being isolated, when it is, in fact, regional or national.  SHIC will work to coordinate, collate and offer field syndromic, veterinary diagnostic lab and packing plant information to pork producers and their veterinarians.


Detecting and Responding to Emerging Diseases

The monitoring for and discovery of emerging disease remains a key priority for SHIC and the organization will offer diagnostic support when incidents of high morbidity and mortality exist without clear etiology. By providing funds for diagnostic support, SHIC will assist in the effort to monitor and identify emerging disease threats in these circumstances.

Efforts will be made to try to improve a nationally coordinated swine health surveillance system. A national workshop to facilitate this effort will be conducted in collaboration with other organizations.

In 2017, SHIC will also study the feasibility of a unique surveillance method to improve cost-effective disease detection and response as well as follow-up on a 2016 pilot project that showed the need to address variability in diagnostic test results between veterinary diagnostic labs.


Organizational Mission and Responsibility

SHIC recognizes the responsibility to be prepared with funds to quickly mobilize and respond to emerging disease when another emerging disease is identified in the U.S. herd. SHIC-led research will provide producers and their veterinarians with critical information needed for efficient, effective response. Another project that will enhance response capabilities will help to validate the use of oral fluids to demonstrate herd disease status and support pig moment per the Secure Pork Supply Plan.

Communications regarding emerging disease will also be improved. Within the communications programs budget, there will be a focused effort in 2017 to develop, test and deliver an effective response communications pathway to producers and veterinarians.

The SHIC 2017 Plan of Work can be seen in its entirety at

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. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at [email protected].