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Research offers early warning against PEDv

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Swine Health Information Center, under the direction of Dr. Paul Sundberg, has many irons in the fire. Earlier this week, we talked about the organization’s African Swine Fever monitoring efforts in Vietnam. Today we talk about another project, which seeks to help producers prevent an outbreak on a producer’s farm.

Dr. Paul Sundberg, Swine Health Information Center executive director, spoke to his organization’s work at the 75th annual National Association of Farm Broadcasting Convention. He mentions a project, funded by his organization, which is “taking advantage of lessons learned from the PEDv outbreak.”

“(University of Minnesota) researchers looked at PEDv outbreaks on different farms. They looked at the timing of the outbreaks on farms and the timing related to different characteristics: The pigs that were on the farm, movements, what was going on around them, the topography on the farm, and what the weather was like,” Sundberg says. “By going back and looking at different characteristics, they were able to put a database together a database that would say, ‘If a farm has these characteristics, then there’s a likelihood that it could break PEDv.'”

Such knowledge would offer producers an opportunity to make adjustments, to prevent an outbreak. Dr. Sundberg says, “This could very well apply to foreign animal diseases” someday.

“If we get ASF, FMD, or emerging disease in the U.S. we may be able to apply these lessons and models to those as well. This is going to be a big step, a big change for the industry,” Sundberg says. “I’ve spent my whole career as a veterinarian working on disease outbreaks, trying to prevent them through biosecurity. But trying to prevent them through prediction is a different attack, and that’s something I’m excited about.”

Dr. Sundberg says this effort would not have been possible without the producers who volunteered their information. He admits, “We work better together than separately.”