A new laboratory diagnostic service to help UK and Irish vets pinpoint cases of swine flu is being made available by Hysolv Animal Health.
“Swine flu can be difficult to diagnose and is not always obvious as its presence may be masked by other concurrent diseases,” said the company, adding that its new service will enable vets to send samples away to a specialist institute and laboratory in Germany, where the disease and type of virus involved can be pinpointed.
“Farmers may not be aware that their pigs have swine flu but may notice such symptoms as an increase in abortions, increased mortality in piglets and a reduction in finishing herd performance,” said Hysolv director Richard Brealey. “We strongly advise farmers to speak to their vet if they see such signs.”
The tests which are being made available under the service will be carried out by the Federal Research Institute for Animal Health and IVD (Innovative Veterinary Laboratories) in Germany, with the cost of the screening work being covered by the pharmaceutical and vaccine company, IDT Biologika.
“Swine flu in the UK is seen as a potential threat to both pig and human health,” said Hysolv. “Novel virus strains with greater infectivity and virulence are evolving, according to the Animal and Plant Health Agency.
The company also said that, apart from post mortem examination, the tests on offer “provide the only conclusive proof of influenza infection”.
Headline image shows a nasal swab being taken for the detection of swine flu.