Death Linked to Strep Zoo Attributed to Stress

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Farmscape for January 28, 2020

Full Interview 11:13 Listen

The Manager of the Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network suggests the stress of long transit, mixing, and long waits at assembly yards or slaughter plants may be among the aggravating factors that have led to sudden death linked to Sreptecoccus zooepidemicus. Streptococcus zooepidemicus, or Strep zoo, is a bacterial infection that has recently been linked to the sudden deaths of sows. The affected age groups on farms have primarily been gilts or sows but there have also been increased numbers of abortions in affected barns and impacts on 35 day pregnancy rates.
Canada West Swine Health Intelligence Network Manager Dr. Jette Christensen notes the infection has been seen in slaughter plants in the U.S. Midwest, on a couple of assembly yards in Manitoba and on four farms in Manitoba.

Clip-Dr. Jette ChristensenCanada West Swine Health Intelligence Network:
What is causing more discussion right now is the sudden deaths that we’ve seen in assembly yards and abattoirs.
When we’ve had sows, particularly sows, not finishers but sows, shipped to slaughter, they go sometimes through multiple points before they reach slaughter. They can be underway from the farm to the final slaughter plant for a couple of days and that’s when we see the sudden death. It’s been up to ten percent over a three to five day period and even higher if you look at batches over longer time periods. It’s been suggested that long transit, mixing and long wait times in holding pens at slaughter houses or assembly yards contributes to this high mortality that has been linked to Strep zoo.

Dr. Christensen says the strain is similar to a Strep zoo discovered in China in the 1970s but that was 40 years ago on another continent so there are still many unanswered questions on how to bridge that time gap. She says we don’t know if it came from China directly or if it came from some other country or means.

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