Research Shows Viral Migrants in Feed Help Protect Against Infection

Farmscape for November 13, 2020

Dr. Scott Dee Presentation 51:42 Listen

Research conducted by Pipestone Veterinary Services shows the value of using mitigants to reduce the risk of disease caused by viral contamination of feed. “Feed Biosecurity: The Key to Disease Control for the North American Swine Industry” was among the topics discussed yesterday as part of the second weekly session of Saskatchewan Pork Industry Symposium 2020. Dr. Scott Dee, the Director of Applied Research with Pipestone Veterinary Services, says products of various chemistries designed to mitigate the effects of viruses in feed were tested over five experiments.

Clip-Dr. Scott Dee-Pipestone Veterinary Services:
We’ve got organic acids here, we’ve got medium chain fatty acids, we’ve got formaldehyde products, we’ve short chain, intermediate, long chain fatty acids, we’ve got individual acids, mixed acids, essential oils, probiotic fibre. I wanted to do this with a lot of different chemistries so we could test different products of different types. So, how did we challenge the feed. I took PRRS, PED and Seneca. I mixed them together in about one pound ice blocks and basically climbed up the ladder of the bin and dropped it in the middle and then let Mother Nature take place and allowed that virus and that contaminated feed material to move into the rooms and let the pigs eat the feed naturally.

Then we would measure to be sure, did the viruses enter the room, did the pigs get sick, what were the clinical signs, were the pigs infected to see whether the viruses actually made it into the room and whether the mitigants had an effect, positive or negative.
In all five experiments across the 15 products, all be it one was not effective, it was still better to mitigate than to not mitigate.
Improved health and performance were observed in mitigated feed versus non-mitigated feed even in the face of infection.

Dr. Dee says the animals fed the mitigated feeds didn’t show the clinical disease, suppressed growth or increased mortality observed among those fed the positive control diets, where PRRS, PED and Seneca were seen almost every time.

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