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Heat improves cleaning, disinfection of swine transport vehicles


September 14, 2016, Saskatoon, Sask – Research conducted by VIDO-InterVac shows the use of heat has the potential to dramatically improve the cleaning and disinfection of swine transport vehicles.

In partnership with Swine Innovation Porc scientists with the University of Saskatchewan, the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute, VIDO-InterVac and the Prairie Swine Centre are in the process of developing an automated system for washing and disinfecting of swine transport vehicles to reduce the transmission of infections.

VIDO-InterVac’s role is to determine at what temperatures the most common swine pathogens will be inactivated and how long it will take.

Dr. Volker Gerdts, the associate director of research with VIDO-InterVac, says researchers are focusing on the 12 most important pathogens of concern to the industry.

“The first thing we’re doing right now in the lab is to essentially just determine after how many minutes, at what temperature these pathogens are inactivated,” he says. “For each of these pathogens we’re running a matrix which has various time points, like from one minute to two hours and then the various degrees and we’re showing at what temperature each of these pathogens is being inactivated in the lab.”

“Heat in general is very effective in inactivating pathogens.”

“I think what our research is then informing our team members is what temperatures we would have to reach and for how long.”

“That’s really then the challenge for the engineers involved in this project, to develop the engineering part, the mechanical part,” says Dr. Gerdts. “Is it possible to heat up a truck or parts of a truck to a certain temperature or what methods can be used to reach that temperature under practical conditions.”

Dr. Gerdts says phase two will be to test these pathogens in the lab in an environment like you would see on a trailer and the third phase will be to repeat the tests in the environment.

He hopes to have the lab work completed by the end of the year.