Farmscape for July 10, 2020
An Adjunct Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine is confident an effective vaccine to prevent Brachyspira associated swine dysentery will help in the effort to reduce the pork sector's reliance on antibiotics.
A re-emergence of swine dysentery, or bloody diarrhea, since 2009-2010 has been linked to the emergence of a novel bacteria, Brachyspira hampsonii.
To facilitate the development of vaccines to prevent swine dysentery, scientists have been investigating the mechanisms the pathogen uses to cause infection.
Dr. Matheus Costa, an Adjunct Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, says, because there are no efficient vaccines for swine dysentery, treatment, prevention and control rely heavily on antimicrobials.
Clip-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Swine dysentery was very common in North America, especially Canada until 1990.
After that we believe that a combination of improved biosecurity measures and the use of prophylactic antibiotics essentially silenced the disease for a couple of decades and it seemed to disappear.
Since 2010-2009 it made a re-emergence in North America.
This has been associated with a novel bug, an auto-bacteria called Brachyspira hampsonii.
It is very typical now in Canada and Europe, especially because of the new antimicrobial policy.
The more we restrain the antimicrobial compounds available for veterinarians to treat pigs, the more likely the disease is to make a comeback.
We believe that those antimicrobials that were silencing the disease in the past decades, as we remove them, we are seeing flares of the disease all over the world, not just Canada not just North America, Europe and Brazil as well.
Dr. Costa says improved immunity will mean less disease, less suffering and improved health and, more importantly, less need for treatment using antibiotics.
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