Despite decades of research on rotavirus A (RVA), all US pigs are highly likely to contract the virus at some point in their lifetime. Natural planned exposure — immunizing pregnant sows with live virus — passively immunizes piglets, and producers frequently work with diagnostic labs to match the strain of RVA they provide to sows with the strain showing up in their piglets. However, scientists don’t yet understand what genetic changes in RVA strains found on farms might warrant an update.
Colibacillosis, a disease caused by avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC), costs the global poultry industry millions of dollars each year. APEC has been researched extensively in North America and Europe, but less is known about the genetic background of APEC isolates from Pakistan, specifically, and elsewhere in the world. As a result, it is difficult for producers and veterinarians in these regions to prevent, manage, and treat colibacillosis.
Worker honeybees feed, groom, and tend to the queen throughout her lifetime, which could theoretically provide an opportunity for pathogens to spread from the workers to the queen. As a result, scientists suspect that the queen may carry similar viruses to the ones carried by the worker bees in her colony. A team of researchers led by Declan Schroeder, PhD, recently published a study exploring similarities between pathogens found in worker bees and queens and analyzing pathogen transmission from workers to queens.
Scientists suspect that wasps and hornets preying upon honeybees promotes the spread of viruses. However, the overall impact of this process on honeybees is still widely unknown. The recent arrival of the Asian giant hornet — often referred to as the "murder hornet" — in the United States only amplifies the necessity to discern how viruses move between wasps, hornets, and honeybees.