Researchers Evaluate Technologies to Contain Airborne Pathogens

Farmscape for June 14, 2022

Full Interview 10:26 Listen

Researchers with the University of Minnesota are exploring different technologies being used in other industries that might be effectively applied to swine barns to contain the spread of airborne pathogens. The University of Minnesota in partnership with the Swine Health Information Center is evaluating existing and emerging technologies across different industries for their ability to contain bioaerosols in the face of swine disease outbreaks. SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg explains the goal is to identify and evaluate technologies such as fibrous filtration, ultraviolet light, electrostatic precipitation and others that might be effectively applied to airborne pathogens, such as PRRS or Mycoplasma that affect swine.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
We want to make sure that we get as broad a look as we can to see if there are other technologies that are being used in other industries, for example in the coal industry or even in the Department of Defence, any place that has the idea that we want to keep pathogens, particles or some emission within the system that we have. We’re asking the question, if there are other industries that are interested in keeping emissions in, then how are they doing it and can we apply it to pork production? That’s the idea, that’s the goal here. This is one step in the process. We’re looking at different biocontainment technologies that are used in different areas. The next step, after we have this accounting, is to try to asses them for useability in the pork industry. It may be that there may be a long list and we’ve got quite list of different technologies that can be used but they may not all be able to be used in pork production. That’s the next step, to make sure that we’re looking at cost effectiveness for each of these as well.

Dr. Sundberg encourages anyone who knows of an innovative technology that might work for swine to contact the Swine Health Information Center.

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