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Can Dust from Feed Mills Indicate Presence of Pathogens in Feed?

1 September 2017, at 12:00am

CANADA & US - Scientists working on behalf of the Swine Health Information Center are attempting to determine whether the dust in feed mills can be used to identify the presence of potential disease causing pathogens and if those pathogens are present what can be done about it, Bruce Cochrane reports.

In response to the suspicion that imported feed introduced the virus into the US that causes Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea the Swine health Information Centre has partnered with Kansas State University to investigate the potential of using dust samples to monitor for swine pathogens in US feed mills.

Dr Paul Sundberg, the Executive Director of the Swine Health Information Center, says the intent is to see what Canada may be bringing into the country in feed products.

Dr Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center

The real objective of this is to get a validated sampling procedure or protocols for monitoring or surveying for swine pathogens in feed in feed mills and feed mills is kind of like a first point of concentration.

All of these products come into a feed mill and they're used there so the outcome there is to get a validated process that we can look for those pathogens in the feed mill.

Now, if we find something of interest, then we've also got to do a trace back if you will.

We've got to survey some different areas and see if we can find out where that came from and, if we find some pathogens of interest in that feed product, the next step has to be what are you going to do about it and that next step includes a research project that's going on right now.

South Dakota State, Pipestone Feed Systems, their applied research group, and Kansas State University are all collaborating in a project that's testing mitigants to add to feed, medium chain fatty acids, formaldehyde, some other compounds that might be economically added to feed that we're going to look to see if they would neutralize any viruses that are in there.

Dr Sundberg says the first step is to see what they've got and the second step is, if they find something, to determine what can be done about it.

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