SDSU and Celemics partner to develop better detection for certain swine diseases

South Dakota State University Extension
Ag News

The proposed methods are seen as a revolutionary step towards preventing swine respiratory diseases.

South Dakota State University’s Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (ADRDL) has partnered with Celemics, Inc. to create the first-ever hybridization-based next generation sequencing (NGS) kit to detect viral and bacterial swine respiratory pathogens.

Most current diagnostic technologies are based on culture or qPCR. These widely used methods come with a great amount of limitations in terms of detecting a wide range of pathogens. The new and proposed breakthrough technique can make it possible to detect several viral and bacterial pathogens at once. 

Celemics Inc. is known for its innovative and ground-breaking research. It was the need of the hour to alter the paradigm of medicine for swine respiratory diagnosis and treatment. It is hoped that their much-welcomed partnership with South Dakota State University will bring revolutionary methods for early detection and cure to the industry.

Until this point in time, the genetic characterization, including whole genome sequence information for viral pathogens and multi-locus sequencing typing (MLST) analysis for bacterial pathogens, was attained through pathogen detection methods. This joint venture of research between the two reputed names has given them hope for improved overall herd health outcomes.

The technology aims to overcome the shortfalls of modern diagnostics by enabling highly multiplexed detection and sequence characterization. Not only would this be more efficient, but considerably cost-effective in comparison to the existing practices.

When asked about this promising prospect, Benjamin Hause, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, shared:

“We are pleased to partner with Celemics on developing and bringing this exciting new technology to the swine industry,” “Celemics’ hybridization panel represents a large leap forward in our ability to detect and concurrently genetically characterize swine pathogens. While we focus on the most significant pathogens such as porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and influenza A virus, clinical disease is often the end result of co-infections with a number of viruses and bacteria. Celemics’ technology will enable comprehensive pathogen screening that will allow better herd management and improved swine health.”

The kit results from years of remarkable research and comprises more than 50 different viral and bacterial swine pathogens. All of these sequences have been carefully chosen based on the study of patterns that are relevant to swine health and include domestically critical species such as the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and influenza A virus, along with foreign viruses such as African swine fever virus (ASFV) and foot and mouth disease virus.

“With this new partnership, we hope to provide clinicians, veterinarians and livestock breeders with a powerful, comprehensive tool for swine disease detection and prevention,” said co-CEO and founder of Celemics, Dr. Hyoki Kim. 

Through the advantages of hybridization NGS, SDSU hopes to provide a kit capable of revolutionizing clinical research and diagnostics and hope to effectively combat future swine disease epidemics.