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Saskatchewan-developed strep zoo vaccine ready for commercialization

By Bruce Cochrane, Farmscape

Pig heard health is about to improve in a big way, thanks to a new vaccine developed by the Western College of Veterinary Medicine to prevent Strep zoo and avoid treatment with antibiotics is ready for commercialization.

Streptococcus equii zooepidemicus, or Strep zoo, is a difficult to diagnose bacterial disease that produces symptoms similar to Streptococcus suis and African Swine Fever and can cause sudden death without warning, or soon after pigs develop fever and go off feed, but, in either instance mortality rates will be high.
In response, researchers with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM) have created a new vaccine to prevent the infection. Dr. Matheus Costa, an Assistant Professor with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Adjunct Professor at Utrecht University, says Strep zoo has caused disease in pigs around the world.

”We have developed a vaccine that seems to be working very well. It so far has prevented 100 percent of the mortality associated with the virulent strain of Strep zoo in pigs. It prevents mortality. Pigs do not die.
They do develop transient fever that does not last very long. I don't think it would be surprising to see, during a farm outbreak, pigs that may go off feed here and there but based on the research we have done the vaccine is very efficient. It protects pigs from mortality, it protects them from clinical signs,” said WCVM’s Dr. Matheus Costa.

“We also believe that it reduces shedding, which means it will reduce transmission. Since Strep zoo requires nose to nose contact, this hopefully should prevent further spread of the pathogen. It's a very strong combination of, your pigs are not going to die and you hopefully will stop spreading this bug around and help stop it from being a problem to the entire industry,” added Dr. Costa.

Dr. Costa said that researchers are now working to bring the vaccine to market with the goal of making it available to producers and veterinarians as quickly as possible

Source : Saskpork

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