SHIC Drives Improved Readiness for Emerging Disease in US Pork Industry with PCR Catalog

When porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) hit the US in 2013, we could not effectively test for it. The North American pork industry learned a lesson and did something about it. Diagnostic preparedness and readiness for possible new or emerging production diseases has been a focus of the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) since its 2015 inception. The recent publication of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (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 PCR tests 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. From evaluating risks via the SHIC Swine Disease Matrix and assessing our 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 SHIC’s inception.