Scientists to Examine Potential of Using Dust to Identify Presence of Pathogens in Feed

CANADA - The Swine Health Information is spearheading a study to examine the potential of using dust in feed mills to determine whether feed ingredients have become contaminated with disease causing pathogens, Bruce Cochrane reports.
calendar icon 18 August 2017
clock icon 3 minute read

In response to the suspicion that imported feed was responsible for introducing the virus that causes Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea into the US, the Swine health Information Centre - in partnership with Kansas State University - will investigate the potential for using dust samples to monitor for swine pathogens in US feed mills.

Swine Health Information Centre Executive Director Dr Paul Sundberg says the objective is to get a validated sampling process for monitoring for swine pathogens in feed mills.

Dr Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Centre

The problem we get into with this type of feed research in the feed mills is that there's a whole lot of different products that are coming into feed mills and being used every day and from different sources so trying to trying to survey specific products for pathogens might be looking for a needle in a haystack.

We don't know what we'd find.

We don't know if we'd find a needle in a haystack or a haystack of needles but we do expect that the common denominator for all of those products is dust.

When those products are used in a feed mill they generate dust.

There's a dust collector in the feed mill because that's part of what their equipment is supposed to do, is to reduce dust to reduce risk to the people who are working there.

The dust samples, we look at those kind of like oral fluid samples in a finishing barn.

It's a sample from the population, not necessarily a sample from a specific product but it's a sample from the population of all of the products that are in there.

We think that might be a good way to do this.

We're going to start with Seneca Valley Virus or Seneca A and see if we can use that as a model to validate the use of these dust samples.

Dr Sundberg anticipates the first results later this year or early next year.

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