Researchers Use Low Pathogenic B. Hyodysenteriae to Gain Insight into Pathogenic Strains

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Farmscape for October 3, 2022

Full Interview 8:56 Listen

Researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are using a low virulence strain of Brachyspira hyodysenteriae to help develop treatments for the pathogenic strains. Brachyspira is a genus of bacteria, several species of which cause disease in pigs, including Brachyspira hyodysenteriae which can result in symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss, bloody diarrhea and death. Researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine are investigating a low pathogenic strain found in hopes of using it to develop preventions or treatments for the pathogenic strains. Dr. Barbara Cortez, a Dr. of veterinary medicine with University of Minas Gerais and master’s student with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, explains within the species there are hundreds of strains.

Clip-Dr. Barbara Cortez-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Some of them are very well characterised and they cause lots of bloody diarrhea but others come from healthy animals which is not common.
Usually when you have a species, every bacteria from that species should behave the same way when in contact with that animal. A few decades ago, studies were carried out and more an more researchers started seeing the same thing. This is one case from when we collected a sample and saw this behavior. So, something is altered in this strain and what it is can help us find alternatives with medicines, vaccines and also creating diagnosis too to differentiate when it is a case of a healthy animal with this Brachyspira hyodysenteriae which is a low pathogenic strain.

Dr. Cortez says the goals include developing a vaccine to prevent swine dysentery and non-antimicrobial alternatives to control swine dysentery.

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