Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Effective biosecurity to protect North American studs and clients from emerging infectious disease.

Abstract

Protecting boar studs and their clients from emerging infectious disease first involves effective biosecurity measures to keep a disease out that was not present, and second, early identification and ceasing semen distribution prior to disseminating infectious disease. Experiences in the field can best guide us as to what has been effective. Circumstances in North America in the period of 1999-2004 resulted in numerous PRRS virus (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) negative boar studs becoming infected and disseminating virus to sow farms. Earlier detection methods were needed, and withholding of semen pending negative test results became standard. To accomplish this, diagnostic labs complied with industry requests for same day testing. At the same time, research efforts helped clarify the major routes of PRRS virus introduction into the farms. The risk of fomites and aerosol spread became viewed as major risks. Addressing issues with people and supply entry alone did not eliminate new virus entry. The implementation of air filtration during 2005-2008 had a major impact on the rate of new virus introductions into boar studs after other measures alone were unsuccessful. Risks exposed with the introduction of PED virus (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea) into North America further highlighted other risk factors such as feed ingredients, trailer sanitation, and the presence of clear physical barriers. The successful adaptation of testing procedures, combined with biosecurity procedures including air filtration, has made the incidence of infectious disease introduction extremely rare in North American boar studs over the last decade. While survivability of infectious disease agents can vary in different materials or in the air, successful protocols should be applied and adjusted as needed to accommodate new information or risks. Cleary defined physical barriers for people and animal entry and exit, sanitization and/or down time on incoming supplies, risk mitigation and testing of feed ingredients, and filtration have been keys to changing the incidence of emerging infectious disease introduction into boar studs.