New pig disease possible in China

29-11-2006 | |

New strains of disease pathogens could have emerged in China as many deadly diseases have the opportunity to sweep through finishing facilities.

That is one of the conclusions two UK pig veterinarians took with them after visiting China this autumn.

Pig veterinarians Steven McOrist and Stan Done (University of Nottingham) observed the pig situation first-hand during a recent visit to China’s veterinary pig centres.


They were informed about this year’s ‘pig fever’ outbreaks. Comprising a possible combination of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) and other diseases, this year’s ‘pig fever’ outbreak swept through the growing number of Chinese finishing facilities, causing more than 1 million culls.

“Diagnostic tests we assessed from reliable centers showed active PRRS and PCV2 infections, with common secondary Pasteurella infections. Many of the affected farms were also positive for hog cholera infections,” McOrist said.

Creating severe strains

The presence of disease pathogens in general could have created conditions favorable for the development of a more severe strain of PRRS, McOrist adds.

“One likely situation is that a more acute and lethal form of PRRS, not unlike the previous Swine Abortion and Mortality Syndrome (SAMS) outbreaks in the USA has now emerged in China and this is the published suggestion of the Chinese authorities,” McOrist said.


“It is also possible that ‘normal’ PRDC (Porcine Respiratory Disease Complex) and PCVAD outbreaks on affected farms had become complicated by active hog cholera.”

McOrist urged heightened observation and intensive treatment for swine populations where symptoms of porcine respiratory diseases are observed.

Related news item:
• Chinese pigs killed by mix of infections (26 Sep 2006)

Related website:
• University of Nottingham

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