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BROCHURE Swine Brucellosis Texas Animal Health Commission Box l2966 •Austin, Texas 78711 •(800) 550-8242 • FAX (512) 719-0719 Linda Logan, DVM, PhD, Executive Director eradication program has three stages. Swine Brucellosis Texas is in Stage 2, meaning infection Brucellosis in swine is caused by has been detected within the past two Brucella suis, a bacteria that is dif- years. To achieve Stage 3, a state can ferent, but related to, the one that find no more than one brucellosis- causes brucellosis in cattle. infected herd during a two-year period. As of early l999, Texas continues to de- Swine infected by the disease can de- tect infected herds, and surveillance velop a number of signs, or they may remains active. appear healthy, making laboratory tests an important diagnostic tool. In- Infection Detection fection may move through the herd quickly, so it’s important to handle In Texas, a "surveillance program" is swine brucellosis as a “herd disease.” used to help find infection. At the slaughter plant, blood Boars can shed samples for disease the bacteria in testing are collected their semen, so from mature sows and it’s possible for boars that can be disease to be traced back to their transmitted herd of origin. during service. Infected swine of To bring the Texas both sexes may surveillance effort experience into compliance short-term or with national permanent program standards, sterility. Infected livestock market sows may abort or give birth to weak surveillance was initiated on October piglets. In some cases, infection may 1, 1998, for swine six months of age cause lameness. and older that are used, or intended Historically, most of Texas’ infected to be used for breeding purposes. swine herds have been in wastefood- During the cooler months--October feeding complexes in the Dallas/Fort through April--a market veterinarian or Worth area. Although complexes tra- a TAHC field staff representative draws ditionally involve many owners, from a a blood sample that is forwarded to the disease and regulatory standpoint, the state-federal laboratory for swine entire complex is considered as ONE brucellosis and pseudorabies tests. herd. National After sample collection, cull breeding Swine Brucellosis Program swine may be moved to slaughter. Non-slaughter breeding swine are The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s permitted to their new premise under (USDA) national swine brucellosis a TAHC-issued hold order. Restrictions are released as soon as Validation offers negative test results are known. several advantages: To prevent undue heat stress on the • animals can be moved with fewer breeding swine, sampling at the regulatory livestock markets is optional during restrictions, the warmer months, May through • the stock is often September. considered to be more valuable, Untested breeding swine are to be • concerns about moved to their new premise only disease in breeding under a hold order issued by the animals are greatly TAHC. Within 15 days after their reduced. arrival at the new site, the owner must To begin the herd validation process, a arrange to have an accredited private producer signs an agreement with the practitioner draw blood samples from TAHC. (Record keeping and agree- the animals for testing. The hold order ments are provided by the TAHC at no is released when the negative test cost.) results are known. To obtain an agreement for review, Infection Eradication make a free call to your TAHC area office or to the Austin headquarters at When infection is detected, TAHC field 1-800-550-8242. staff collects blood samples from the The collection of blood samples for herd of origin and quarantines the validation testing is at owner’s cost herd, if additional infection is found. and must be conducted by an Owners of infected herds will have a accredited private practitioner. To state or federal veterinarian achieve or renew the validation all assigned to work with them to develop test results must be negative. The a "herd plan" for getting rid of the owner can select from one of three disease. testing schedules. USDA funds have been made availa- 1. Every 10 to 12 months, test all sex- ble for depopulation, making it easi- ually intact swine six months of age or er for an owner to sell out the infect- older in the herd. For re-validation, ed herd and start fresh with healthy retest eligible animals every 10 to 12 stock. A state or federal veterinari- months. an can explain the depopulation op- 2. Incremental testing: Every 80 to portunity in detail. 105 days, test 25 percent of the herd's sexually intact swine that are six Swine: Validated Brucellosis-Free months of age or older. During the A number of pro- 12-month validation ducers don’t de- period, all eligible ani- pend on luck to mals must be tested. keep their herds healthy. Their 3. Incremental testing: stock undergoes Every 25 to 35 days, regular testing test 10 percent of and is validated herd's sexually intact disease-free by the swine ages six months TAHC. or older. Each eligible animal in the herd must be tested once during the 10-months test- ing period. Brucellosis Can Affect Humans, Too! Brucellosis bacteria can affect humans, causing serious illness. That’s why it’s so important to take precautions and to recognize the signs of human infection. In humans, brucellosis is called "undu- lant fever" and this was a fairly common gloves or throw them away. The same ailment years ago. The name “undulant goes for face masks and goggles or fever” comes from the chills and fever glasses, too. that come and go--or undulate-- throughout a 24-hour period. Other If a sow aborts, destroy fetuses by burn- typical symptoms include fatigue, body ing or burial. This will kill bacteria and aches, headaches, weight loss or flu-like prevent it from spreading to the other malaise. swine in the complex--or to you. Disease transmission to humans Practice good hygiene after working with If your swine herd has brucellosis, you your herd. Wash your hands with an may contract the disease by handling antibacterial soap and change and wash the newborn offspring or aborted fetuses soiled clothing. This will help stop the of infected sows. When an infected sow spread of the brucellosis bacteria--or delivers or aborts, the piglets are covered any other "germs" your swine may have! with millions of the brucellosis bacteria. Wear plastic or rubber gloves when Diagnosing and treating handling piglets or fetuses to prevent "undulant fever" bacteria from entering your skin through a scratch or cut. Laboratory tests can be run on blood samples collected from persons who The bacteria can also be present in the may have caught the disease. The tests blood or abscesses of infected swine. are similar to those used to diagnose Protect yourself when slaughtering and infection in cattle and swine! processing swine. Cover your mouth and nose with a simple If you or your family suffer symptoms dust mask to pro- that may be suggestive of brucellosis, or tect against "undulant fever," tell your doctor if breathing airborne you’ve been handling livestock. The blood particles. earlier the infection is diagnosed, the Safety goggles will easier recovery can be achieved through keep fluids out of proper medication and rest. your eyes, and gloves will protect Doctors usually prescribe a series of any cuts or specific antibiotics for several weeks to scratches on your fight off the brucellosis bacteria. hands. Never treat yourself if you suspect When you've you’ve been infected! Physician care finished a chore, is crucial to prevent long-term health disinfect the problems!
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