Swine Articles on Biosecurity & Hygiene

Biosecurity includes the use of certain management practices to prevent the introduction of new disease and the spread of existing disease on swine operations. Examples of these practices include: proper handling of new breeding stock; the use of multiple-site production; proper pig flow management; strict rodent control; and controlling human and vehicle entry between and within operations.

Biosecurity involves the use of certain management practices designed to prevent the introduction and spread of disease. Examples of these practices include: housing features, pig-flow techniques within and between management phases, restriction of new animal sources, quarantine and testing of new arrivals, rodent control and control of other animals that may be vectors for pathogens, and monitoring human and vehicle entry between and within sites. In 2000 and 2006, the USDA’s National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) conducted studies on swine health and management practices from a random sample of swine production sites with 100 or more pigs in 17 States*. These States represented approximately 94 percent of U.S. pig inventory and 94 percent of U.S. pork producers with 100 or more pigs.

Despite numerous cases of human infection with Streptococcus suis worldwide, human disease is rarely diagnosed in North America. We studied 73 swine-exposed and 67 non–swine-exposed US adults for antibodies to S. suis serotype 2. Serologic data suggest that human infection with S. suis occurs more frequently than currently documented.

Streptococcus suis is one of the most important pathogens affecting the swine industry. The gram-positive, encapsulated bacterium causes a wide range of clinical disease syndromes in pigs and other domestic animals. Despite the recognition that S. suis infection may result in a life-threatening meningitis or toxic-shock syndrome, little is known about human pathogenesis. A recent outbreak in People's Republic of China caused by a serotype 2 strain resulted in 38 deaths among 215 infected humans, an 18% mortality rate (1). The bacterium has caused sporadic human illness in other countries as well, including the United Kingdom, and has been identified as a leading cause of bacterial meningitis in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Vietnam.

Swine biosecurity: August 2007 -- An efficient and effective swine herd health program addresses proper nutrition, housing, and ventilation; animal welfare and comfort; appropriate pharmaceutical use; and disease prevention and control strategies. Biosecurity is the cornerstone of disease prevention. By implementing biosecurity precautions, the herd can be protected from the entry of potentially devastating diseases such as porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome, classical swine fever, brucellosis, pseudorabies and circovirus infections. The biggest threat is purchased pigs that may harbor infectious agents, without exhibiting overt clinical signs. Wildlife, pets, people, inanimate objects, and wind can carry disease-causing organisms onto a swine facility. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Animal Health Branch, in partnership with the National Pork Producers Council, State associations, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and University of California Cooperative Extension are committed to assisting producers in developing biosecurity strategies. The following biosecurity principles may be tailored to meet the individual producer’s situation.