Global trends in infectious diseases of swine

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144 Scopus citations


Pork accounts for more than one-third of meat produced worldwide and is an important component of global food security, agricultural economies, and trade. Infectious diseases are among the primary constraints to swine production, and the globalization of the swine industry has contributed to the emergence and spread of pathogens. Despite the importance of infectious diseases to animal health and the stability and productivity of the global swine industry, pathogens of swine have never been reviewed at a global scale. Here, we build a holistic global picture of research on swine pathogens to enhance preparedness and understand patterns of emergence and spread. By conducting a scoping review of more than 57,000 publications across 50 years, we identify priority pathogens globally and regionally, and characterize geographic and temporal trends in research priorities. Of the 40 identified pathogens, publication rates for eight pathogens increased faster than overall trends, suggesting that these pathogens may be emerging or constitute an increasing threat. We also compared regional patterns of pathogen prioritization in the context of policy differences, history of outbreaks, and differing swine health challenges faced in regions where swine production has become more industrialized. We documented a general increasing trend in importance of zoonotic pathogens and show that structural changes in the industry related to intensive swine production shift pathogen prioritization. Multinational collaboration networks were strongly shaped by region, colonial ties, and pig trade networks. This review represents the most comprehensive overview of research on swine infectious diseases to date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11495-11500
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 6 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. We thank A. Perez and P. Davies for constructive comments while preparing this manuscript. This project was supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant 2018-68008-27890 from the US Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Swine Health Information Center.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.


  • Agricultural practices
  • Emerging pathogens
  • Global health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Livestock


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