Now in its fifth year, the Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project continues to monitor trends in pathogen incidence and prevalence. The basis of MSHMP is that production companies and veterinarians work collaboratively and voluntarily to report weekly disease status, farm location and other farm data to advance preparedness for endemic and emerging diseases. This project, funded in part by the Swine Health Information Center, continues to grow in scope and capability.
In the most recent report provided to SHIC, project coordinator Cesar Corzo, DVM, MSc, PhD, of the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, says system capacity building, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus sequence monitoring, as well as overall swine industry representation, and connectedness have advanced.
"We opened a huge door from a database capacity standpoint as we now have the possibility to add farms, pathogens, and assign status as needed in an easier and robust manner," says Corzo. "I'm really excited with this as we continue to get closer to addressing downstream flow from our participant sow herds which is a much needed step from a preparedness standpoint."
Regarding PRRSv sequence monitoring, Corzo says the MSHMP database is in place and the capacity to track emergent strains as reported from laboratories now exists. "Even though we are not real-time yet, we certainly have an established procedure for acquisition and storage for further analysis," he explains. These enhancements have also provided a way to share and analyze data useful in PRRS outbreak investigations.
The addition of growing pig sites to the program's database was a positive step per Corzo. "This is allowing us to understand the complexity of the data and has uncovered exciting challenges with this population of farms, the largest and perhaps the most important due to its dynamic nature," he says. "We are also getting ready to begin focusing on how to address the linking of sow and growing pig herds, it will be an exciting challenge."
These advancements are targeted to fulfill the mission of the MSHMP program which is to build the capacity to better respond to an emerging pathogen in a voluntary manner. Further, it provides the ability for the swine industry to detect and address emerging pathogens while delivering value and support to its participants and the pork industry. The program has also functioned as the barometer for PRRS occurrence in the United States, and later became a key reporting system for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus activity.
As the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, SHIC continues to focus efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response to novel and emerging swine disease for the benefit of U.S. swine health. SHIC is funded by America's pork producers to fulfill its mission to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd.