UW to use grant to develop better brucellosis test

Aug 18, 2017 From staff reports

Researchers in the Department of Veterinary Sciences at the University of Wyoming will use a $149,000 grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to help develop a quicker, cheaper and more accurate test to detect brucellosis.

The money will help fund studies to detect swine brucellosis (Brucella suis), which is prevalent among feral swine in most of the United States, but not yet in Wyoming. B. suis can also infect domestic swine and cattle where their populations overlap.

The money will help continue efforts toward creating a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis, an ongoing effort by Dr. Brant Schumaker, DVM, and associate professor in the department.

There is a growing pressure for hog producers to move from confinement production to natural or pasture-raised swine. Serologic (blood) testing cannot discriminate between cattle brucellosis (Brucella abortus) and B. suis exposures.

"I think most of the state understands how much of a problem cattle brucellosis has been in the Greater Yellowstone Area," said Schumaker, epidemiologist at the Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory. He will lead the collaborative project with Texas A&M University.