APP Investigation Prompts Reemphasis of Importance of Wean to Finish Phase Biosecurity

Farmscape for January 30, 2023

Full Interview 9:53 Listen

An Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae serotype 15 investigation has demonstrated the need for improved biosecurity and prompted the Swine Health Information Center to reemphasise wean to finish phase biosecurity. In response to outbreaks of an especially virulent strain of APP serotype 15, in the upper Midwest in 2021, scientists with Iowa State University on behalf of the Swine Health Information Center are working to characterise the organism and identify the risk factors for lateral transmission. SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says morbidity was as high as 100 percent and mortality hit 50 percent or higher.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
There are a lot of factors at play in an outbreak. However, the main risk factor that was identified in all of these farms was the probability that the rendering pickup of mortalities from these finishing floors had a big role in spreading APP among the finishing floors and causing the outbreaks. The other thing that we looked at was, we looked at the source of the bacteria that could have come from these finishing floors. We have epidemiological evidence that the bacteria spread from one floor to the other but we wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just a sense that it spread from one floor to another but we wanted to look at the sources of APP 15 that could have come from the sow farms that were populating those finishing floors.

So, we went onto those sow floors that were populating the finishing floors and did some investigation in those farms and found that, for the vast majority of those farms, they were negative to the APP 15 serotype itself. That led credibility to our look in saying that most probably this bacteria was spread laterally from finishing floor to finishing floor and most probably by the rendering trucks as they moved from one place to another.

Dr. Sundberg notes the investigation has reinforced SHIC’s decision to reprioritise biosecurity during the wean to finish phase.

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