We first heard about the Infection Chain concept in managing swine disease from Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica (BIVI) back in March at American Association of Swine Veterinarians annual meeting. We learned more about it during World Pork Expo.
“BI is very dedicated to understanding the diseases overall,” explained Swine Technical Manager Brian Payne. “We’ve done a great job with the PRRS infection chain, we’re in the middle of many studies with the mycoplasma infection chain, and we’re starting PCV2 infection chain studies.” Interview with BIVI's Brian Payne
Dr. Eduardo Fano, BIVI’s technical manager for the Americas, talked about the importance of understanding the infection chain for mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, also referred to as M-hyo or MHP. “If you understand that the first link of the infection is the gilt, the second is the sow herd and the last one is what we see clinically in finishing, it’s easy to understand the links of the prevention chain that you can work,” he said. Interview with BIVI's Eduardo Fano
Dr. Dave Baumert, staff veterinarian for Cargill Pork, provided a case study on his experience with how the infection chain works. “To me the infection chain refers to the movement of infectious disease down through the production flow,” he said. “As pigs are moved, infectious disease if it’s present will move with them.”
His case study involved the purchase of gilts just discovered to be positive for Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. “We chose to keep those gilts because we thought they added some real value to our system,” said Dr. Baumert. “What we didn’t completely understand at the time was that when we kept those gilts we were also keeping the start of the mycoplasma disease chain.”
Ultimately, Dr. Baumert says the decision to keep those gilts which set off the infection chain in that herd was a costly one but they learned from it. Interview with Cargill Pork Staff Vet Dr. Dave Baumert