SHIC Receives Extension from National Pork Board and Reviews 2019 Results

Ames, Iowa — When the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) was formed July 1, 2015, it was with the understanding it was a five-year project. The proposal language surrounding the Center’s formation stated, “Funding of the Center past its five-year life will depend on it being able to demonstrate a sufficient return on the investment to justify keeping it running.” Following presentation and approval of SHIC’s 2019 Progress Report on January 7, 2020, the National Pork Board (NPB) Board of Directors voted to extend the project for two more years, using SHIC’s existing funds. NPB also agreed to continued consideration of future funding and coordination beyond the two-year extension. In the 2019 report, it is clear African swine fever (ASF) required significant resources, however, SHIC remained faithful to its mission to protect the health of the US swine herd through comprehensive preparedness, monitoring, response, and communications activities. The 2019 Progress Report details progress in each of these areas.

Preparedness Activities on Behalf of US Swine Herd Health

Monitoring Swine Disease Transmission Vectors

Improving Transport Biosecurity Domestically

Investigating Common Inputs as Vectors for Disease Introduction 

  • Kansas State University project improved the half-life calculations of ASF in feed ingredients exposed to transatlantic shipment conditions
  • Examined 14 feed additives to determine their ability to negatively affect viral survival and be cost-effective mitigants
  • Encouraged the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) as they updated feed mill biosecurity guidelines
  • Participated in a feed processor ASF task force to define prevention, detection, and response protocols for feed ingredients, feed manufacture, and on-farm feed delivery
  • Sponsored a workshop to increase understanding of the vitamin supply chain and identify potential risk factors for introducing foreign animal disease to the US
  • Brought together soybean industry stakeholders to increase understanding of the soy supply chain and identify potential risk factors for introducing foreign animal disease into the US

Improving Swine Health Information

Surveillance and Discovery of Emerging Disease

  • New variant of porcine sapovirus identified in 2019 and appears to be the first detection of a single porcine sapovirus infection in piglets with diarrhea in the US
  • Real time RT-PCR to detect viral RNA in clinical samples and determine the viral load being developed
  • Developed and evaluated a serum/oral fluid ELISA to detect antibodies against atypical porcine pestivirus (APPV)
  • Improvements made toward a nationally coordinated swine health surveillance system to prepare, detect and rapidly respond to emerging and foreign animal diseases were investigated
  • Streptococcus equi ssp zooepidemicus confirmed in assembly yards resulting in isolates being sequenced, a species-specific PCR being developed, and a challenge study being done
  • Continued further diagnostic work into understanding a hemorrhagic tracheitis syndrome in Canada

Responding to Emerging Disease

  • US pork industry created the National Swine Disease Council made up of key industry leaders, the North American Meat Institute and representatives from SHIC, NPB, NPPC, and AASV along with USDA and state animal health official representation
  • In collaboration with AASV, held a webinar titled Disease Management of Viral Myelitis for veterinary practitioners and pork producers.

African Swine Fever

  • Funded a project to report the current state of knowledge regarding possible strain differences and pathogenicity of ASF
  • USDA-Foreign Ag Service grant awarded to SHIC, with active support from NPPC, funds project in Vietnam helping to build strategic partnerships while increasing trade of US pork to the region including swine health field projects ultimately informing North American pork producers about effective ASF preparedness and response

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