Effects of type of machine and covering on viruses and microorganisms recovered from dust in ultrasound machines used in German swine production operations
Johannes Kauffold, Dr med vet; Jochen Beckjunker, Dr med vet; Regina Scheller, Dr med vet; Bernd-Andreas Schwarz, Dr med vet; Neville Beynon, MA, MCGI, FRAgS; Axel Sobiraj, DVM, MSc, PhD
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Objectives: To investigate whether dust from the inside of ultrasound machines used for gynecological examinations in German swine production operations harbors viruses and microorganisms, and whether the type of machine and its covering affect internal viral and microbial contamination.
Methods: Dust swabs were collected from 18 ultrasound machines of three common types. Five were used completely covered (closed plastic bags or household plastic cling-film), four incompletely covered (with open or perforated plastic bags), and nine uncovered. Swabs were tested for porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV-2) by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) by nested reverse transcriptase-PCR, and for bacteria, fungi, and yeasts by culturing. Eight new unused machines (two or three of each type) served as negative controls.
Results: Neither PCV-2 DNA nor yeasts were recovered from any machine. Nine used machines, but no new machines, tested positive for PRRSV RNA. All used machines and two new machines harbored bacteria and fungi. Within the used machines, the type of machine did not affect contamination. Complete covering was most effective in reducing internal contamination with bacteria and fungi.
Implications: During their use on swine farms, ultrasound machines of different types may become internally contaminated with the PRRSV and numerous microorganisms. A cover that would completely eliminate contact with air might be effective in preventing PRRSV contamination of these machines. Biosecurity procedures should be established for use of ultrasound machines on swine farms, including their complete covering with intact plastic bags.
Keywords: ultrasound, ultrasound machines, contamination, biosecurity
Cite as: Kauffold J, Beckjunker J, Scheller R, et al. Effects of type of machine and covering on viruses and microorganisms recovered from dust in ultrasound machines used in German swine production operations. J Swine Health Prod 2005;13(2):72-80.
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