Assessment of the representativeness of disease surveillance programs of sows


<p>Several swine diseases are monitored through surveillance programs in Finland. The annual surveillance of diseases in sows is based on approximately one thousand blood samples taken from sows at slaughter. A study by the Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira assessed the representativeness of sow surveillance programs regarding Aujeszky’s disease, PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) and TGE (Transmissible gastroenteritis). These diseases are not present in Finland at the moment, and more than 30 years have passed since one of them (TGE) was last diagnosed.&nbsp;</p>

Aujesky’s disease, PRRS and TGE are not transmittable to humans. 

Surveillance programs implemented according to plan in Finland 

In Finland, surveillance programs have been implemented according to plan in the years studied (2008-2009). Surveillance targeted pig farms at random, the planned number of samples was taken and sampling targeted slaughterhouses that are responsible for the slaughter of more than 99 per cent of sows in Finland. 

The sensitivity of the surveillance program was studied with a simulation model 

Results indicate that the surveillance program is most sensitive in identifying PRRS and least sensitive as regards TGE. This is due to the different frequency of the diseases on farms, and differences in test sensitivity. 

The results for a single year are enough to confirm that the diseases have not become endemic in Finland. However, the results of a one-year surveillance program are not enough to prove freedom from disease. 

Freedom from disease can be proven more effectively if the results of the surveillance program assessed in this report are combined with disease surveillance based on symptoms and blood samples, assessment of the risk of disease entry into the country and spread within the country. 

Read the report Representativeness of surveillance programs of AD, TGE and PRRS of sows during the years 2008-2009 (In Finnish, description in English)

Read more about Aujeszky’s disease (in Finnish), PRRS (in English, OIE) and TGE (in Finnish)

For further information, please contact:
Senior Researcher Tapani Lyytikäinen, Risk Assessment Research Unit, tel. +358 400 614 380
Senior Researcher Leena Sahlström, Risk Assessment Research Unit, tel. +358 40 489 3375
Senior Researcher Jonna Kyyrö, Risk Assessment Research Unit, tel. +358 40 548 0071

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