Application of Genomics-based Tools to Select for Pig Disease Resilience

Disease is an economically important trait in Canadian pork production and is one of the most difficult challenges to manage. It also contributes to poor public perception of food animal production in terms of animal welfare, food safety, and antimicrobial resistance. Disease resilience is a quantitative trait defined as an animal’s ability to maintain performance when exposed to pathogen(s). The goal of this project is to validate biological and genomic indicators of disease resilience in commercial pork production that can be measured and implemented in genetic improvement programs. This will involve validating promising disease resilience indicator traits and genomic tests in pigs that are exposed to pathogens in a controlled environment. This is expected in increase the rate of genetic improvement in pig health by 30%, increase the production of high value pork products, and improve the competitiveness in export markets.