Syndromic surveillance by veterinary practitioners: a pilot study in the pig sector

C Correia-Gomes*, MK Henry, Susanna Williamson, Richard M Irvine, GJ Gunn, Nigel Woolfenden, Mark EC White, SC Tongue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
56 Downloads (Pure)


Traditional indicator-based livestock surveillance has been focused on case definitions, definitive diagnoses and laboratory confirmation. The use of syndromic disease surveillance would increase the population base from which animal health data are captured and facilitate earlier detection of new and re-emerging threats to animal health. Veterinary practitioners could potentially play a vital role in such activities. In a pilot study, specialist private veterinary practitioners (PVP) working in the English pig industry were asked to collect and transfer background data and disease incident reports for pig farms visited during the study period. Baseline data from 110 pig farms were received, along with 68 disease incident reports. Reports took an average of approximately 25 minutes to complete. Feedback from the PVPs indicated that they saw value in syndromic surveillance. Maintenance of anonymity in the outputs would be essential, as would timely access for the PVPs to relevant information on syndromic trends. Further guidance and standardisation would also be required. Syndromic surveillance by PVPs is possible for the pig industry. It has potential to fill current gaps in the collection of animal health data, as long as the engagement and participation of data providers can be obtained and maintained.

Original languageEnglish
Article number556
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Record
Issue number18
Early online date25 Apr 2019
Publication statusPrint publication - 4 May 2019


  • disease surveillance
  • farm animals
  • health
  • pigs
  • veterinary profession
  • General Medicine
  • General Veterinary


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