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Research Sets Parameters for Heat to Destroy Disease Causing Pathogens

02 June 2017
Manitoba Pork Council


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CANADA - A Professor with the University of Saskatchewan says research conducted by VIDO-InterVac has given engineers the parameters necessary to apply the use of heat to the decontamination of swine transport vehicles to improve transport biosecurity, Bruce Cochrane reports.

A team of engineers and scientists, working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc, is developing an automated system to speed up and reduce the cost of disinfecting swine transport trailers to reduce the transfer of disease causing pathogens.

Dr Terry Fonstad, a Professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, notes researchers with VIDO-Intervac have demonstrated that heat is extremely effective in destroying pathogens.

Dr Terry Fonstad-University of Saskatchewan

The industry feels the transport trailers were the vector for disease transfer.

VIDO came back and told us that if your could dry heat viruses and bacteria to a certain level for a certain period of time, for instance 75 degrees for 15 minutes, then that would destroy most of the pathogens of interest or all of the pathogens of interest to the swine industry.

That means, from an engineering standpoint, now we have a 53 foot trailer that we need to heat to 75 degrees for 15 minutes economically.

They've given us temperature and heat regimes that range from high temperatures for low time frames to a little bit lower temperatures for longer time frames that then we can use to develop heating systems for the transport industry that will ensure they have proper pathogen kill under varying conditions from varying heating systems.

They maybe don't all get to 80 degrees but maybe they're slightly less for longer periods of time so then we can work with each individual bake unit to meet those parameters and make sure we're getting the biosecurity in the industry that we need.

Dr Fonstad says input from an industry based advisory team has been a key factor in the success of this effort.

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