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Newsletter #2 - European project Prohealth

16 December 2015

Prohealth - Newsletter #2
Project focuses on exploring new options to improve animal health and production quality while limiting its impact on the environment and preserving the profitability of livestock units and related sectors.
Prohealth event in Warsaw, Poland. Successful launch of a series of national events

Over 180 attendees, including 140 poultry and 40 swine stakeholders participated in the first Prohealth event ‘Pig and Poultry Diseases: Biosecurity and Health’. It took place on the 4th September in Poland, following the European Association for Animal Production 2015 Annual Meeting and was hosted by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences, one of the project partners.
Read more on this and upcoming Prohealth events.

Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus: A threat to European pig farms? Why PEDV is important and what can be done to fight it?

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDV) may cause acute diarrhoea, dehydration and high mortality rates in piglets ranging from 50-100%. It is transmitted via the faecal-oral route, making farm biosecurity paramount in disease prevention and control.
Read more on PEDV, recent outbreaks and on how Prohealth  can help to promote biosecurity.

Enriched housing of sows during pregnancy influences sow and piglet health. Conclusions from Prohealth  experimental studies

Piglet mortality within the first 28 days after birth is a major concern for pig producers. On European farms, one piglet in seven dies in the period between birth and weaning, with over 50% of these deaths occurring in the first 72 hours. Until now, the roles of sow welfare, housing and diet during pregnancy, and their subsequent impact on piglet survival and immunity have been poorly explored.
Read how Prohealth  researchers investigated the effect of different sow housing systems.

Escherichia coli infections in broiler production and the role of the broiler breeders

Prohealth  has investigated the importance of E. coli infections in industrial broiler production. Because it has been suggested that chronic salpingitis in the breeders - an often unrecognized infection - represents a potential risk for transmission of E. coli to the broiler chicks and subsequent increased first week mortality, our investigations have focused on this aspect.
The results indicate that, besides general hygiene measures to prevent E. coli in the broiler flocks, attention should also be given to the broiler parents and possibly also to the grandparents.
Read more on this recent experimental study and its results.

Using microarrays to determine farm animal health. How Prohealth  investigates gene pathways

Microarray technology has only been available for the past 10-15 years and has not yet been used to predict animal health in a study as large as Prohealth . The objective of this work by Prohealth  is to identify gene pathways which are associated with particular environmental, farm management or disease factors.
Learn more about this technology and what its results mean in practice.

Production diseases: the cost to pig producers. Results of an extensive literature analysis

Production diseases are costly to pig farms, but exactly how costly? To answer this question, Prohealth  conducted an extensive literature analysis to establish the overall estimated cost of different production diseases. These are diseases that are persistent in intensive animal production systems, and the more intensive the system, the more prevalent and severe the diseases tend to become. Interventions to prevent them and to treat sick animals require labour and other expensive resources. Alongside the costs of such interventions, these types of diseases can also reduce productivity and so result in further income losses. As profit margins in livestock production traditionally tend to be quite low, this can have a substantial impact on the profitability of a farm, as well as affecting animal health and welfare.
Read more about this study and the estimated costs of production diseases.

Download Newsletter #2