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Preventing flu transmission from humans to pigs

Beyond nutrition and starting with a healthy pig, employees can have a marked impact on the success of controlling influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S).

Marie Culhane, DVM, PhD, associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s College of Veterinary Medicine, pointed to the challenges of staying ahead of a constantly evolving virus and slowing transmission from humans to pigs.

“One of the factors that drives influenza change is continuous introduction of virus from humans into pigs,” she said. “We want to not only vaccinate pigs but also have good biosecurity and hygiene protocols, such as asking employees to wear gloves and masks when having contact with pigs.”

Pointing to a test approved by the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) as well as a non-CLIA test for influenza A, Culhane stressed the need for on-site influenza testing for employees.

“On our farms we would use the non-CLIA tests,” she said. “Ideally, to test for influenza A in humans, we would have to partner with public health, but there are people who do want to partner with us.”….


Read the rest of this article and download our Integrated flu management: New strategies for control special report.



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Farm employees can have a marked impact on the success of controlling IAV-S. Two roundtable panelists share their views.

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Posted on March 10, 2021

  • 8 ways to boost immunity in livestock

    Victor Cortese, DVM, PhD, drew on his decades of field experience and expertise in immunology to offer tips for optimizing immunity in swine herds in the face of IAV-S.

  • New approaches to influenza control look promising

    Influenza-A virus of swine (IAV-S) is a thorn in the side of US pork producers, and it’s a difficult thorn to remove. If the virus were more pathogenic, veterinarians and producers would probably talk about it more.

  • Highlights of flu-management strategies meeting now available

    A special report from Pig Health Today, “Integrated Flu Management: New Strategies for Control,” reports on key presentations by experts in influenza A virus in swine (IAV-S) and features highlights of a roundtable involving swine practitioners.

  • Influenza roundtable: Taking control programs to the next level in sows and pigs

    Despite the pork industry’s best efforts, IAV-S remains a challenge for US pork producers year-round, particularly in grow-finish systems. Nine veterinarians discussed the challenges of the costly virus and the prospects for new control strategies.

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Eliminating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) from pigs might not yet be possible, but monitoring tools could help refine a herd's PRRSV stability.

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