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New test speeds up fight against salmonella on pig farms

A new real-time diagnostic kit that will help pig producers fight salmonella infections on their farms has been launched at the SafePork scientific symposium in Berlin.

by 5m Editor
13 October 2019, at 6:00am

It has been developed and produced by Biotecon Diagnostics in co-operation with Ceva – the multinational veterinary pharmaceutical company. The highly-sensitive test, using DNA, will detect and differentiate accurately between the vaccine strains and field strains of Salmonella typhimurium (STM), the most important enzootic salmonella. It will complement company’s Salmoporc vaccine, which is widely used in many European countries.

If salmonella is found on a farm by established methods, differentiation can be carried out on any substrate without the need for time-consuming cultural detection tests. Results can be achieved overnight or within 24 hours compared with five days for existing tests. The test is safe and reliable, without false-negatives.

Diagnostic kit
Diagnostic kit

“Vaccination is the only way to reduce Salmonella typhimurium sustainably to reduce the spill-over to abattoirs and the food chain. If STM is found on a farm where vaccine is used then the pig farmer needs to know if it is the vaccine strain, which is of no concern, or the field strain, which is of considerable concern,” commented Dr Rike Schmelz, veterinarian and salmonella specialist, with Ceva.

To test for salmonella, samples will be taken by a unit’s vet from pigs and the environment at several locations. Salmonella can be found on 80-100 percent of pig farms in most countries.

“The reduction of salmonella prevalence on a farm through vaccination will also lessen the impact of antibiotic use,” pointed out Dr Schmelz. “While antimicrobials are normally not used to treat sub-clinical salmonella, they are used to treat other ailments – such as respiratory or intestinal diseases – where they impact also Salmonella, whether intentional or not.

“Vaccination will therefore help prevent a further increase in multi-drug resistant salmonella.”

Additional information on vaccination, sampling schedule and the new diagnostic method can be found at www.stop-salmonella.com.