Diagnosing swine influenza from clinical signs has become more difficult in recent years because the course of the disease has changed.
This was the message given to experts from the UK, Denmark, France, Spain, Poland, The Netherlands and Germany who met in Woerlitz, Germany, at a meeting organised by IDT Biologika to discuss the role of swine flu in the European pig population.
Delegates were told that since the clinical course of the disease had changed accurate diagnosis was needed. Dr Silke Wacheck, of IDT’s animal health international technical service, reporting from the meeting, said that it was accepted that the disease could not be easily diagnosed by trusting the ‘clinical eye’ or ‘clinical experience’.
Infection of animals occurs all year round and multiple sub-types can be isolated on individual farms, so laboratory tests are crucial for precise identification of the viruses. These include the HI (Haemagglutination Inhibition) and PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests.
Prof Markowska-Daniel from Poland pointed out that infected sows may show a reduction in reproductive performance, resulting in a “high economic impact” for the farmer.
“Pigs play an important role in the epidemiology of influenza A viruses since they can act as a ‘mixing vessel’. Influenza viruses are prone to genetic variability and pigs are susceptible to pig, human and avian viruses,” said Dr Wacheck.
July 10, 2015 - IDT