CANADA - A PhD Candidate with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine says the re-emergence of swine dysentery has prompted scientists to revaluate how they deal with Brachyspira, writes Bruce Cochrane.
Last month the Western Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians named Dr Mateus Costa, A PhD candidate with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, one of two winners of the 2015 WCASV Maxwell Award.
Dr Costa's research focuses on the re-emergence of swine dysentery in western Canada caused by a recently identified species of Brachyspira, Brachyspira Hampsonii.
Dr Costa says, although we know what's causing the disease, we still don't know how to control it properly.
Dr Mateus Costa-University of Saskatchewan:
I believe there's more unknown than know. We have had this disease, swine dysentery, for a long time.
There was a point in time that we were able to somewhat control it using antibiotic therapy and we kind of let our guard down by then.
There were many many questions that we can't answer about the infection at that point while we could control it but now, with the reemergence of mucco hemorrhagic diarrhea associated with Brachyspira Hampsonii, we need to develop better control tools.
That's one of the goals of my research. We're trying to understand how exactly Brachyspira interacts with the pig intestine. We know the outcome.
We know that bloody diarrhea may happen but we don't really know how the bug causes the lesions.
Even though we know swine dysentery has been around for a few decades in North America, we don't completely understand the mechanisms that the bug uses to infect the large intestine.
At this time that's what we're trying to understand.
We're trying to understand how Brachyspira Hampsonii causes lesions to the intestine.
Dr Costa says studies looking at the inflammatory response, what happens to the gut, when Brachyspira first gets in contact with the large intestine are just wrapping up and the hope is to have some insight soon.
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