Is it possible that the simple cucumber could help the pig industry reduce the spread of disease for indoor pigs? Yes, according to Alison Wakeham, a senior research scientist at the University of Worcester, and she explains how.
Speaking at the BPEX Innovation Conference, Wakeham explained that rearing pigs in ventilated buildings and growing cucumbers in greenhouses both have challenges with diseases coming in from the external environment.
Indoor housing challenge v outdoor
Detrimental fungi, viruses, bacteria, pollen and insects, (collectively known as bio-aerosols), can cause problems when growing cucumbers in controlled environments. However, they don't cause significant issues for cucumbers grown outdoors. So, scientists have developed air sensors that sample the air and alert growers to bio-aerosols that may be carrying disease.
Potential for air sampling technique in the pig industry
Air sampling is a technique Wakeham thinks has potential in the pig industry. "There are more rapid tests being developed for identifying bio-aerosols and I'm sure it's only a matter of time before this technology is available in the pig sector."
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