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Improved Ability to Diagnose & Track Swine Diseases

by 5m Editor
2 February 2012, at 9:41am

CANADA - A Southern Manitoba swine veterinarian foresees a greater reliance on new technology to diagnose and track the movement of swine diseases in Canada, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Thanks to a stepped up focus on biosecurity the health status of the Manitoba swine herd has remained fairly stable but over time health changes between farms and between regions.

"Diseases in Manitoba: An Update" was among the topics discussed yesterday as part of the 2012 Manitoba Swine Seminar.

Dr Blaine Tully, a partner with Steinbach based Swine Health Professionals says we've heard some pretty dramatic health challenges with PRRS in other parts of Canada and the midwest US over the past winter and other disease challenges on our radar screen include swine influenza viruses and bracysprira.

Dr Blaine Tully-Swine Health Professionals

We've been using a lot more technology in some of our diagnostic approaches.

When we look at, for example, PRRS circulation on farms we're now very interested in specifically finding out what strain of PRRS virus is on the farm and we now have tools available to be able to compare those strains with other farms not only in our region but in other areas across Canada and North America.

I think going forward that's going to be pretty critical in understanding not only disease transmission but control strategies as well.

We're just starting to really play around with them but already we've seen instances where we've been able to connect the dots between farms where common viruses are found and try and look at linkages where transmission could have happened and develop strategies to prevent that in the future.


Dr Tully predicts more use of technology to identify specific disease challenges, stepped up surveillance to track any pathogen movement in regions and further development of control strategies and tools to keep tool boxes full will be seen.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.