The effective control of S. suis infectious disease is hampered by the lack of knowledge concerning:
- The virulence mechanisms of invasive isolates in pigs including adaptive changes during infection (e.g. due to phase variation);
- Factors involved in carriage and transmission of S. suis;
- Diagnostic markers of disease-causing strains;
- Infection dynamics and epidemiology of disease-causing strains;
- The impact of co-occurring infections on risk of S. suis disease;
- Development of innate host immune reactions in the critical suckling and weaning periods of early life;
- Role of the microbiota in protection against, but also risk of, S. suis invasive disease;
- Adaptive (protective) immune responses against different types of S. suis.
Therefore, the PIGSs project addresses the complete disease triangle to study the necessary pre-conditions for disease to occur.