University of Minnesota Evaluates Technologies to Prevent Airborne Pathogen Movement in Swine Production

Feb 06, 2023

Researchers with the University of Minnesota are evaluating a variety of techniques in use in other industries that might be used to prevent the airborne movement of disease-causing pathogens from swine farm to swine farm.
With funding from the Swine Health Information Center, researchers with the University of Minnesota, are assessing emerging technologies being used in other industries that have might be applied to the movement of airborne pathogens in swine production.

SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg notes viruses are the ones that everyone is most familiar with and PRRS is certainly the posterchild for that happening.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:

If there’s an outbreak of PRRS, for example, on a finishing floor or in a nursery that's wide open and we don't have a biocontainment strategy to try to keep that virus from going out of the barn and into the atmosphere then it forms what's been termed a viral cloud and it essentially is that.

It's a cloud of virus particles that go up into the atmosphere and the wind can blow it from one place to another. That's the one that people are the most familiar with I think.There are others things, other viruses.Certainly, in our experience with pseudorabies back in the pseudorabies eradication program, that was another example of a virus that could move from place to place through the atmosphere.
Even our outbreaks of PED in 2013 was shown to be moved from one farm to another by wind.

That wasn't necessarily airborne.It was probably more of moving dust from one farm to another.The dust would be contaminated with PED.That was more windborne than it was aerosol but those are all examples of viruses that can move by air and move by wind from farm to farm.

Dr. Sundberg notes some examples of emerging technologies include microwave, bipolar and unipolar ionization, non-thermal plasma, photocatalytic, ozone and chemical disinfection.

Details on this work can be accessed through SHIC's web site at

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