Work has begun work in the UK to develop a faster and more accurate test for the bacterium which causes Glässer’s disease, Haemophilus parasuis (HPS).

The British Pig Executive is funding Kate Howell, a student at the University of Cambridge, to develop the test to distinguish between disease-associated and non-disease-associated HPS, using DNA techniques. Five percent of all swine respiratory disease in the UK is caused by HPS bacteria, according to animal health veterinary experts, placing a significant burden on the farming industry, as well as having a major impact on welfare.

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Symptoms of HPS infection include meningitis, septicemia, anorexia, arthritis, fever, pleurisy, peritonitis and increased pig mortality.