Humans Added to List of Vectors Capable of Spreading Strep Zoo

Farmscape for February 14, 2024

A researcher with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says humans need to be included in the list of vectors for the spread of Streptococcus zooepidemicus.
Streptococcus zooepidemicus or Strep zoo is a bacterial infection that was first identified as causing disease in pigs in 2019.
It can result in dramatic symptoms such as sudden death, similar to reportable diseases such as African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever or Pseudorabies.
Dr. Matheus Costa, an Assistant Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at Utrecht University, says we're still learning about the impact of Strep zoo on different species but we have evidence that it can jump from one species to another and back.

Quote-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
We believe that any warm-blooded animal can be a carrier of Strep zoo, so it doesn't really matter when we talk about what species.
When you're thinking about a regular commercial barn it can be anything.
It can be a barn cat, it can be birds that come in and out trying to find some spillover feed, it can be any other wildlife that has access to the barn so it's very hard to dictate, these are the species we should be worried about.
We should be worried about any species and that has major biosecurity implications because it's very hard to control access to the pigs by every single species.
More recently we included humans into that list of species because we know they can act as carriers of Strep zoo so it's a very long list and it definitely makes biosecurity a more challenging job than it used to be.

Dr. Costa right now we know very little about the ability of Strep zoo to jump from pigs to people and then people to pigs but we do know that people can carry Strep zoo for weeks, months or even years and people have been implicated in spreading Strep zoo between barns.
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Bruce Cochrane.

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