Air Filtration

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Author(s): A. C. Cardona, C. Pijoan, S. A. Dee
Publication Date: January 15, 2005
Reference: Veterinary Record (2005) 156, 91-92
Country: United States


Modern developments in pig production such as segregated production, early weaning and strategic medication have eliminated some of the risks associated with the spreading of pathogens. Although there have still been certain pathogens able to penetrate herds despite these improvements. Enzootic pneumonia (EP) is one disease that still causes reductions in production performance of swine herds. One of the main agents of EP is M hyopneumoniae, which is very difficult to grow in a lab causing a need for nested PCR technology to aid in the detection of the organism in tissue and air samples. The spreading of M hyopneumoniae is mainly through infected pigs and aerosols. This disease is assumed to travel up to 3km making dense pig operations and roadways that transport hogs risk factors for spreading the disease. But these assumptions are based on retrospective epidemiological studies, no scientific studies have been conducted to see if the disease can actually travel through the air for various distances. To test for the spreading of M hyopneumoniae a model was used that had previously been designed to test for the spreading of PRRS. This model consisted of three components: dispersal, dissemination and detection. The dispersal phase involved spraying units of M hyopneumoniae through a aerosol can, similar to a cooking oil spray. A blower was used to disseminate the samples, and a portable air centrifuge was used to collect samples at 1, 75 and 150 m from the dissemination area. The study was replicated twice at each distance. After each test, the centrifuge was sanitized. Samples were taken after each tests at each distance. All of the samples from each distance were found to be positive with M hyopneumoniae DNA. All the samples consisted of non-specific bacteria making it difficult to determine  if any samples had M hyopneumoniae-like colonies. Further studies need to be carried out to find out the maximum distance the particles can travel and to see if different weather conditions play a role in the distance traveled.

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