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Use of an online monitoring system for early detection of infection in pigs

M. Martínez-Avilés, E. Fernández-Carrión, J. M. López García-Baones, J. M. Sánchez-Vizcaíno

TO avoid the economic and health consequences of uncontrolled disease spread, early detection of infectious diseases into a country free of those diseases is crucial. As the first signs of animal infection are usually fever and reduced motion leading to less food and water being consumed, the authors of this study developed a novel ‘smart system’ to monitor body temperature and motion in real time and facilitate early detection of infectious diseases. In this study, they tested the smart system on 10 pigs experimentally infected with two doses of an attenuated strain of African swine fever.

The online real-time monitoring system (RTMS-ON) monitored real-time changes in behaviour and physiology by gathering accelerometer and body temperature data from individual animals, and water consumption and movements at herd level. The accelerometer was embedded in an eartag device that contained a radio transceiver through which data were transmitted wirelessly to a base unit. A radio frequency identification reader, also installed in the eartag, recorded the subcutaneous temperature measured by a microchip inserted over the cleido-occipital muscle behind the ear to which the eartag was attached. Room sensors continuously transmitted data about water flow, humidity and environmental temperature. Data were captured …

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