Oral Fluids Testing to Detect Pathogens in the Swine Herd Gaining in Popularity

Nov 13, 2014

A veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says the level of interest in the use of oral fluids testing to detect infections in the swine herd is building.

The use of oral fluids to detect pathogens within the swine herd was introduced in 2008 by Iowa State University and by 2010 had become common among farms in the U.S. Midwest.
"Oral Fluids Testing to detect PRRS, Circovirus and Influenza A" will be discussed next week in Saskatoon as part of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2014."

Dr. Susan Detmer, a veterinary pathologist with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says whether it's a DNA virus, a bacteria or an RNA virus, it can be detected in the oral fluids.

Dr. Susan Detmer-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Samples can actually be collected by just about anybody, so this is a nice sample for farms to collect on their own without having to collect on their own without having to have a veterinary on hand.
We put cotton ropes in the pens and the pigs within the pen start chewing  on the ropes.

The person on the farm would squeeze out the sample into a plastic bag and then that would get submitted to the diagnostic lab for testing.

The pigs really like things to chew on so as soon as you put the rope in, for the most part, they're curious, they check it out and they chew on it.
About six to ten pigs can get to the rope when you tie it to the side of the pen so within 30 minutes you usually have about 20 milliliters of oral fluid sample collected so it's fairly easy, it doesn't require a lot of training and it's a pooled sample so you can test a lot of animals at the same time.

Dr. Detmer acknowledges oral fluids testing is mostly used to detect respiratory pathogens but this testing can also be used to detected some of the foreign animals diseases, Pseudorabies and even some of the diarrhea diseases.

Source: Farmscape

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