Farmscape for June 29, 2020
A greater understanding of how Brachyspira defends itself against the immune system of the pig is helping scientists in their efforts to create a vaccine that will help protect pigs from the infection.
A re-emergence of swine dysentery disease, or bloody diarrhea, since 2009-2010 has been linked to the emergence of a novel bacteria, Brachyspira hampsonii.
To facilitate the development of vaccines to prevent swine dysentery, scientists have been investigating the mechanisms the pathogen uses to cause infection.
Dr. Matheus Costa, an Adjunct Professor with the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine and an Assistant Professor with the University of Minnesota, says it looks the bacteria shuts down specific triggers that would allow the pig to build an immune response preventing the animal from defending itself against the disease.
Clip-Dr. Matheus Costa-Western College of Veterinary Medicine:
The discoveries shed a light on why previous efforts to develop a vaccine for swine dysentery may have failed.
We now know that Brachyspira shuts down the specific triggers of immunity and, by doing that, it prevents the development of an effective immune response.
Now that we understand how it does that, we may be able to reverse that and, by exposing the pig to the right parts of that bacteria we may be able to induce a long lasting immunity.
What this means for the swine industry is that we are working on prototype vaccines and, with this knowledge, we may be able to work on something that will, for example, only need one dose throughout the production life of a pig and it will be protective against Brachyspira hyodysenteriae or Brachyspira hampsonii and will not develop swine dysentery.
Dr. Costa says this concept is now being moved from the lab into animal trials and preliminary data shows scientists are on the right track.
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