News from the National Pork Board

Pilot project to enhance emerging animal disease
detection and response

In 2002, the Iowa Pork Producers Association (IPPA) committed funding for an emerging animal disease proposal submitted by the National Pork Board (NPB). The IPPA funding was key to launching this IPPA, NPB, and USDA/APHIS collaborative 12-month effort which began in January 2003.

The primary objective of this study is to create a model for a more formal passive surveillance system designed to rapidly detect, report, and respond to emerging animal diseases (EAD). Emerging animal diseases include foreign animal diseases (FAD), novel pathogens, and re-emergence of known domestic diseases. The porcine circovirus-associated diseases, ie, postweaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) and porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS), were selected for the study, as they have recently emerged, the clinical description is not clearly defined, and the gross pathology lesions are similar to classical swine fever. Therefore, these diseases provide a unique opportunity to assess the barriers to a passive surveillance system in regards to new emerging pathogens and FAD recognition.

Ten satellite veterinary practices across Iowa and Minnesota, as well as the veterinary diagnostic laboratories at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota, were recruited to participate. The overall objectives of this study are the following:

  • Develop case definitions for the porcine circovirus-associated diseases presently described as PMWS and PDNS;
  • Identify challenges associated with the coordination and implementation of a more formal, real-time, passive surveillance system for detection of emerging and foreign animal diseases;
  • Assess the prevalence and scope of two recently emerged diseases, PMWS and PDNS, in the Midwest swine population; and
  • Identify risk factors contributing to the expression of PMWS and PDNS in porcine circovirus-positive herds.