Norway Continues To Enjoy Country Wide Freedom From Mhyo, By George Charbonneau from South West Ontario Veterinary Services

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In 1994, the Norwegian Pig Health Service decided to embark on a plan to eradicate Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae (Mhyo). A  partial depopulation program was initiated in all Mhyo positive farrow-to-feed and farrow-to-finish herds. Total depopulation was performed in all positive finisher herds. From 1994 to 2009, a total of 138,635 pigs in 3211 herds were serologically tested for the presence of antibodies against Mhyo. The test results initially showed that 5538 (4%) individual samples and 398 (12.4%) of the herds were Mho positive. This was a relatively low prevalence and a good starting point for an eradication effort. By 2009, the Norwegian pig population was declared free from Mhyo and happily that national Mhyo negative status has been maintained . It is only possible to declare Mhyo disease freedom if there is a robust surveillance program. From 2009 through 2019, a total of 44,228 individual serum samples had been analyzed for the presence of antibodies against Mhyo and found negative in the National surveillance program.

For the Norwegian Pig Industry the eradication of Mhyo  has resulted in improved health and welfare of the Norwegian pig population. The Norwegians believe that success of the program is related to several factors. There was moderate to low prevalence of the agent at the outset. Well documented and effective eradication protocols were readily available. Accurate diagnostic tests were available. Relatively small herds and low herd density in most parts of the country were helpful. There was negligible import of live pigs. The Norwegian producers have benefited economically from reduced disease costs associated with Mhyo. There continues to be excellent compliance by all players in the industry with respect to eradication and surveillance efforts. In order to maintain the Mhyo infection-free status at national level the entire industry is focused on discovering any possible Mhyo infections and then ensuring rapid sampling and diagnostics. Any findings of Mhyo positive pig herds in Norway will result in immediate eradication of the herd.

Take Home Messages:

  • The Norwegian Pig Industry has maintained a hard earned Mycoplama hyopneumonia negative status for over a decade and continues to maintain a high degree of alert to any possible disease incursion. There is a commitment to early detection and then elimination.
  • This was truly a “Big Hairy Audatious Goal” but it was well worth pursuing given that Mhyo was moderate to low in prevalence, effective eradication protocols were available, accurate diagnostic tests were used, herds were relatively small and there was relatively low herd density in most parts of the country.

Ref: Stine Margrethe Gulliksen , Børge Baustad , Tore Framstad , Anne Jørgensen , Audun Skomsøy  Oddbjørn Kjelvik , Mona Gjestvang , Carl Andreas Grøntvedt , Bjørn Lium   Successful eradication of Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae from the Norwegian pig population – 10 years later  Porcine Health Manag . 2021 May 17;7(1):37. doi: 10.1186/s40813-021-00216-z.