Our Canadian partner (Prof. Marcelo Gottschalk) is conducting research aimed at creating an effective vaccine to prevent Streptococcus suis

Streptococcus suis encapsulates itself in a sugar based envelope which the immune system can't detect rendering typical vaccines ineffective and leaving treatment with antibiotics as the only option.

Prof Marcelo Gottschalk, the Director of the International Reference Laboratory for Streptococcus suis at the University of Montreal, proposes this new approach involves proteins linked to purified fragments of the sugar based coating, which will be synthesised to reduce costs, that will allow the immune system to recognise the bacteria and stimulate an immune response. There are some in human medicine which are currently used but none in veterinary medicine yet.

If we are able to produce a conjugate vaccine based on synthetic sugar with a reduced cost, this technology may be used with other bacterial pathogens because most bacterial pathogens do have a capsule and antibodies against those capsules are usually protective so the same technology or very similar technology might be applied to other animal pathogens.

Prof Gottschalk says, if we are going to expect veterinarians to control diseases on farms without using antibiotics, they are going to need more tools to do so.

Prof Gottschalk is stakeholder advisory board member in the PIGSs project and participates during the annual phyiscal meetings to give feedback about the project's progress and advise on future steps on our work tackling Streptococcus suis. 

More about Swine Innovation Porc: Swine Innovation Porc is a non-profit corporation committed to facilitating research in the Canadian swine sector. Our main objective is to enhance the profitability and sustainability of the pork industry by supporting the development of the most innovative technologies that will benefit the pork value chain. More information about this organisation can be found here