Understanding Strep Zoo Key to Prevention, Control, Eradication

Farmscape for June 11, 2020

Scientists are working to understand more about a common bacteria that's become pathogenic to pigs.
Streptococcus zooepidemicus, a bacterial infection which results in the sudden death of pigs, was identified in Canada in March 2019 and has since been found in several U.S. states.
Dr. Matheus Costa, an Adjunct Professor with the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Assistant Professor with the University of Minnesota, says, because the organism is a normal part of the microbiome of several species, understanding why it's pathogenic to pigs has been a challenge.

Clip-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
Current investigations focus on three key points, when, why and how.
So when, we're trying to trace how Strep zoo was introduced in America, specifically this Strep zoo associated with pigs.
There's a combination of USDA, University of Minnesota, Manitoba Agriculture and CFIA trying to understand where could this possibly have come from?
A second question is why?
We're trying to understand why this specific Strep zooepidemicus somehow decided to become problematic for pigs now.
Why was this not a problem two years ago?
What happened that now we're seeing infections becoming more prevalent all across the globe?
A third question we're trying to understand is how?
We're trying to draw a picture on how Streptococcus zooepidemicus infects pigs and what makes it special or dangerous to pigs.
Once we understand that we're more likely to be able to develop other preventative measures than antimicrobials.

Dr. Costa says hopefully in the near future scientists will be able to provide the industry with more specific answers on how to prevent it, control it and hopefully eradicate it.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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