Pork production in China is rapidly increasing and swine production operations continue to expand to meet demand. Disease outbreaks can readily threaten these production sites resulting in large economic losses. Recent disease examples include porcine epidemic diarrheal virus (PEDV), highly pathogenic porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2), and African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV). The movement of pathogens between humans and animals (zoonoses) also pose a unique challenge for disease control in swine production settings. Surveillance within swine farms can be an effective approach for the early identification of new disease threats and the mitigation of transmission before broad dissemination among a herd occurs. However, due to being moderately invasive, standard surveillance practices might not always be feasible as they may disrupt normal production operations. Furthermore, the cost of conducting surveillance, particularly in large-scale settings, could also be a barrier to its routine implementation. Non-invasive environmental bioaerosol sampling could be an effective and affordable approach for conducting routine surveillance in farms, providing an additional tool for farmers to protect their animals and themselves from new disease threats.
In this proposed two year prospective epidemiological study, we aim to 1) use a novel bioaerosol sampling approach to determine the prevalence of known swine pathogens; 2) apply a pathogen discovery algorithm to identify new disease threats; 2) evaluate the transmission dynamics of detected pathogens by comparing bioaerosol sampling, with water, fecal slurry, and surface sampling data; 4) characterize zoonotic transmission risk of detected pathogens by also studying swine worker sera and nasal wash samples.