African swine fever – resources for veterinarians

African Swine Fever (ASF) is a very real disease threat that could potentially infect North American swine of all types, including small specialty herds and companion swine.  All veterinarians, including companion and mixed animal practitioners, should familiarize themselves with the clinical signs, gross lesions, and routes of transmission of ASF.

The Canadian Pork Council has produced numerous information pieces regarding ASF and risk mitigation practices including for small scale producers.  These are available on their website at https://www.cpc-ccp.com/ASF-resources-printables .

In December, the Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS) and the Community for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases (CEZD) hosted French and English webinars on ASF, which are available as taped versions:

https://gts-ee.webex.com/gts-ee/ldr.php?RCID=52a493fdfed537869eafe8d166b131ad (Disregard the ‘no content’ note once the presentation loads do – just start the recording.)

Additional images of ASF gross lesions of African Swine Fewer have been published online by the Center for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University:


Chlamydia suis and Mycoplasma suis PCRs now available at the AHL

Hugh Cai, Josepha DeLay

Chlamydia suis and C. abortus are the main species involved in chlamydial infections in pigs. C. suis can cause conjunctivitis, pneumonia, enteritis, and reproductive failure, which has been reported in Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, and China. Concern has been raised in Ontario and in other swine-producing areas of North America about possible contribution of C. suis to sow infertility. A published PCR method for C. suis was recently validated and implemented at the AHL. Acceptable samples for C. suis PCR include vaginal, rectal, nasal, and ocular swabs, depending on clinical presentation. C. abortus PCR continues to be available at the AHL, and has similar sample requirements.

PCR for Mycoplasma suis, formerly Eperythrozoon suis, is also now available at the AHL. Variably severe hemolytic anemia and associated poor growth caused by M. suis infection may develop in pigs of any age, but especially in nursery and feeder pigs. Infection may also be subclinical. EDTA blood is the preferred sample for M. suis PCR.   AHL

OAHN Swine erysipelas project is ongoing

In response to swine practitioners’ identification of increased erysipelas cases in the Ontario herd, the OAHN Swine Network is supporting a project to further investigate and characterize Erysipelas rhusiopathiae isolated from clinical cases and from abattoir samples.

Veterinarians with suspected erysipelas cases are encouraged to contact Dr. Tim Pasma, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) to enroll in the project (tim.pasma@ontario.ca).

For enrolled herds, fresh or frozen samples from spleen and lung of affected pigs should be submitted to the AHL for bacterial culture.   AHL