Lab Canada

$76M funding supports program dealing with rampant swine disease

St-Narcisse-De-Beaurivage, QC – A four-year program that is receiving $76 million funding from the federal government will focus on four areas to deal with porcine circovirus associated diseases (PCVAD). The program will include herd inoculation, research, bio-security best management practices and finding long-term risk management solutions.

PCVAD defines an entire range of diseases affecting pigs that are associated with pork circovirus 2 (PCV2) including postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), respiratory illness, pneumonia, diarrhea, reproductive disorders and high mortality in pigs.

Symptoms may include depletion of lymphoid cells in growing pigs, inflammation in one or more tissues such as the spleen, thymus, intestines, lymph nodes, lung, kidney, liver, tonsil, and detection of PCV2 within the lesions of growing pigs. PCV2-associated diseases pose no risk to human health.

PCVAD/PMWS is severely affecting the Canadian swine industry, with incidences increasing across Canada and new outbreaks in Western Canada. Recent research shows that mortality rates also seem to be on the rise within infected herds. From 2000 to 2006, deaths and condemnations within the Canadian hog herd increased by 4% representing approximately 1.75 million hogs.

Veterinarians and producers are aggressively examining ways to prevent and control PCV2-associated diseases. There are currently three vaccines available for inoculating pigs.

Most success in managing PCV2-associated diseases has come from attending to the details of biosecurity, sanitation, production strategies, environment, and control of other diseases. Avoiding the introduction of live animals, minimizing visitor traffic on the farm, rodent, insect and bird control, minimizing cross fostering activity, cleaning and disinfection of facilities and control of farm pathogens appears to be helpful in preventing disease transmission. Strategic and appropriate vaccination and prompt treatment of ill pigs will also help to reduce the risk of transmitting PCV2-associated diseases between pigs.