SHIC Releases 2018 Plan of Work to Help Safeguard Swine Health

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Plan of Work for 2018, with projects designed to quickly deliver results to safeguard the health of the US swine herd, was approved by the organization’s Board of Directors during their January 26 meeting. Just a few Plan of Work highlights include a focused effort to improve transportation biosecurity, the next steps for investigating feed as a possible vehicle for pathogen transport into the country and between farms, improving communication about international and domestic swine diseases, and continued testing of the ability to respond to emerging disease through the Rapid Response Corp.

Building on 2017 accomplishments, the 2018 Plan of Work follows SHIC’s key priority areas:

The 2018 Plan of Work calls for improved transport biosecurity from points of concentration through better understanding of trucker/facility interactions and transmission pathways. Steps for facilitating improved trailer disinfection will also be investigated.

Following-up on 2017 work, SHIC is investigating the ability of common inputs to act as biologic or mechanical vectors for disease introduction into the country or between farms. This includes work on feed transport of pathogens, studying imported feed components and their risk, along with mitigations – including feed additives – that might reduce or eliminate risk.

SHIC programs for improving surveillance and discovery in 2018 will help investigate newly identified agents associated with disease as well as ensure detection of emerging disease to facilitate rapid response. Agents such as sapelovirus, PCV3, parainfluenza virus, and others will be investigated to help ensure response is appropriate, thorough, and rapid when needed. SHIC continues to offer diagnostic fee support for this purpose.

Being prepared to respond quickly and effectively to emerging disease, a priority for the industry, includes SHIC’s new Rapid Response Program with Corps members already being trained. Refinement of the program through actively practicing disease outbreak investigations will take place in 2018. In the event of an emerging disease, the Corps will help SHIC assist producers and veterinarians to quickly respond to and manage incidents with a focus on communications, quick research of pathogens, and supporting a unified response.

SHIC will continue to identify swine disease risks via domestic and international monitoring, working to enhance processes and reporting. As part of the international program, publications are monitored, international disease databases are watched, and international contacts and allied industry partners are asked to give a ‘boots on the ground’ perspective.  Domestic monitoring for new or emerging diseases builds on the availability of SHIC-funded standardized veterinary diagnostic laboratory reporting and messaging.

SHIC will continue to support the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project to develop industry capacity for detection of emerging disease, rapid response, and continuity of business. The sharing of information through the project will be the foundation for new and innovative analyses to enable prospective swine health decision making.

The Swine Disease Matrix is constantly being reviewed with updates happening in response to disease activity and awareness. In 2018, SHIC will include bacterial pathogens, to reflect the reality seen on farms. Using the prioritized pathogens in the Swine Disease Matrix, SHIC is working to enhance swine disease diagnostic capabilities.  SHIC-funded diagnostic tools will be staged for access by Veterinary Diagnostic Labs, so they can quickly be used for disease diagnostic work ups.

SHIC’s 2018 Plan of Work continues the investment made by US pork producers in the health of the US herd. The SHIC Board of Directors considers this investment while setting priorities for the coming year.

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].