Collecting Cerebrospinal Fluid

The ability to control swine endemic systemic diseases such as Streptococcus suis and Glaesserella parasuis relies on obtaining clinically relevant isolates that are the cause of disease within the herd. Bacterial culture and isolation of the pathogenic strain can be difficult with on-farm sampling as many strains are commensal organisms within the respiratory tract and skin, and sample contamination can easily occur in field conditions. Therefore, a sterile collection of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is a preferred sample when trying to isolate the correct pathogen. In addition, CSF can be submitted for cytologic evaluation, providing a more thorough assessment of the case. 

Educational materials on the best practices for collecting CSF in field conditions were created by the collaboration of the Swine Medicine Education Center (SMEC), Dr. Maria Clavijo, DVM, PhD, and Dr. Rachel Derscheid, DVM, PhD, DACVP. These materials include a two-minute video and associated printable handout outlining the sample collection in a step-by-step process for veterinarians and producers to obtain target isolates, and help control and treat these systemic agents. 

CSF sampling educational materials were funded in part by The National Pork Board and PIC.