Pork Producers Advised to Step Up Biosecurity in Face of Human to Pig Transfer of Streptococcus Zooepidemicus

Mar 11, 2024

A researcher with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine is encouraging pork producers to step up personnel biosecurity procedures in the face of the risk of human to pig transfer of Streptococcus zooepidemicus. Streptococcus zooepidemicus or Strep zoo, a bacterial infection first identified as causing disease in pigs in 2019, can result in dramatic symptoms similar to reportable diseases such as African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever or Pseudorabies.

Dr. Matheus Costa, an Assistant Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at Utrecht University, says we're still learning about the impact of Strep zoo on different species but we have evidence that it can jump from one to another and back so biosecurity should begin with what we are already doing well.

Quote-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:

Make sure there is dedicated clothing, make sure anyone coming in is aware of the biosecurity measures.They should be changing cloths; they should be showering but what we're doing differently now or may start seeing more frequently is questions about any potential travel. We know that, because this bacteria can survive in humans for a very long period of time, even if you happen to visit a pet farm or happen to see a wild boar somewhere, who knows what was the animal, but if you happen to be in contact with the animal and be colonised, it helps to track down where it could have been if we have a travel log.
We're hoping that sometime in the future we might have a quick easy to use test for detecting Strep zoo in swabs, just like the ones we had for COVID during the pandemic because that would really help from a practical perspective if we could test people as they come in and out.
Animals as well if suspected.

That would definitely make life a little bit easier, rather than trying to submit samples to a lab and wait.That doesn't seem practical. Dr. Costa says overall it doesn't change much from what we are already doing other than to be aware that not just animals, but humans could be carrying Strep zoo so every step that can be taken to minimise the risk will be helpful.

Source : Farmscape.ca