SHIC Issues RFP for Tongue Tip Diagnostic Sample Research

Research proposals investigating tongue tips as a novel diagnostic sample type are now being accepted as part of a recently released SHIC RFP. Diagnostic investigation of tongue tips from stillborn pigs and neonatal mortalities may be used to gain information about PRRSV, or other pathogens, circulating during gestation and being vertically transmitted from the gestating sow to her litter. Tongue tips might also be used to monitor viral pathogen horizontal transmission in a variety of ages of pigs.  Research into the use of tongue tip monitoring will help provide producers and their veterinarians with critical information that they may need to effectively respond to an emerging disease outbreak.

SHIC’s research priority is to understand the potential breadth of tongue tips as a sample type for monitoring emerging diseases. More information is needed about diagnostic test sensitivity or specificity using tongue tip tissues compared to other sample types such as neonate processing fluids; diagnostic lab processing procedures to support reliable, credible test results; comparing different pathogens’ tongue tip test results using whole genome sequencing; and confirming tongue tip test results using virus isolation.

Following, if tongue tip monitoring can be used to investigate vertical and/or horizontal disease transmission, more information is needed about how to apply tongue tip monitoring to support recovery from emerging diseases. Therefore, using tongue tips to achieve herd PRRS stability or elimination as a model for an emerging disease response needs to be investigated.

For this Request for Proposals, projects are capped at $50,000 but individual proposals may be higher with sufficient justification for a project that will be unique, high impact and have industry-wide benefit. Collaborative proposals for focused, timely research concluding in 12 months or less will be prioritized.

The deadline for proposal submission is 5:00 pm CDT, September 5, 2023. The proposal template and instructions for completion can be found under “General SHIC Research Program” at Proposals can be submitted by emailing them to Dr. Paul Sundberg at [email protected]. For questions, contact Dr. Sundberg via email or (515) 451-6652 or Dr. Megan Niederwerder at [email protected] or (785) 452-8270.

The Swine Health Information Center, launched in 2015 with Pork Checkoff funding, protects and enhances the health of the US swine herd by minimizing the impact of emerging disease threats through preparedness, coordinated communications, global disease monitoring, analysis of swine health data, and targeted research investments. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at [email protected] or Dr. Megan Niederwerder at [email protected].