WCVM Researchers Examining Bacterial Agents as Possible Cause of Ear Tip Necrosis

Farmscape for January 31, 2022

Full Interview 11:11 Listen

Research conducted by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine suggests ear tip necrosis in pigs may be triggered by a bacteria.
In hopes of developing effective preventions or treatments, researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine have been examining ear tip necrosis in pigs. Dr. Matheus Costa, an Assistant Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an adjunct professor with Utrecht University, explains we understand what it looks like but we don’t yet fully understand its cause.

Clip-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Ear tip necrosis is an issue relevant to the swine industry world wide. It’s something that’s been described awhile ago and there has been some research investigating what causes it. Initially some studies suggested that PCV 2 could be associated with it. There’s a line of research that suggests that mycotoxins are the cause but we don’t quite know exactly how it works yet so we were wondering if there’s something associated with mycotoxins, the environment or why were we seeing this more often now. We try things here and there to mitigate it but there’s never been an efficient treatment or prevention method or anything. At the end of the day those two factors together prompted this study and the objective was to investigate if ear tip necrosis is an infectious disease or not. We truly wanted know if there’s something could from an infection perspective to deal with or if this was some other kind of disease with a different pathology.

Dr. Costa says researchers have determined this disease does seem to be triggered by some type of infection but other factors may contribute to the severity of the condition. He says there’s been no evidence of viruses suggesting this is at least partially a bacterial disease and researchers are examining various bacterial agents in hopes of identifying a cause and ultimately developing prevention or control measures.

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