Tracking will help ID how PEDV is transmitted

Tracking will help ID how PEDV is transmitted

Credit: University of Illinois Credit: University of Illinois
June 11, 2014

URBANA, Ill. (RFD-TV) Agriculture experts say the current PED virus is one of the worst problems to affect the pork industry.

PEDV, or porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, arrived in the United States during the spring of 2013.

Infected herds can lose all the baby pigs over a four to six-week period the first time it shows up.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants to know more about how much of the nation’s hog herd has been infected.

The government now requires farmers, veterinarians and laboratories to report cases of PEDV. It also wants to know where those herds are located and will require tracking of the pigs, vehicles and other equipment leaving those premises.

There is good reason for these precautions – the disease spreads in manure and just one gram can infect one million pigs, says University of Illinois Clinical Veterinarian Jim Lowe.

“So even things that appear to not be contaminated, not have fecal material on them can still have enough virus on it to infect another pig,” said Lowe.

The University of Illinois has studied the spread of the virus.

In this case, it is oral fecal. The study is one of the reasons the USDA requires tracking the movements of almost everything coming off an infected farm.

“Any way anything coming out of the farm can move. So we’ve done a study and documented that trucks are really a big way that we can transmit disease. We’ve published that data in EID, Emerging Infectious Diseases, really from the beginning of the outbreak that it appears that animals, live haul trucks moving pigs between farms are a big risk. We know that many, many other things can be contaminated. There’s been work done that it will survive in manure for weeks. One of the original studies was that it was there for three weeks and that’s because they quit testing at three weeks. The study was done in three weeks and they could still find virus at three weeks,” said Lowe. “There’s certainly some suggestions that feed contaminated with manure can be a problem. There’s some fairly strong evidence of that. If we get some cross contamination from manure in feed, that it moves that way. Supplies moving in and out of a boar stud or a source of the semen gets infected with PEDV. It can be on the outside of the bottles. So it’s not in the semen itself, but it’s there’s so much virus that it’s on the outside of the bottle and it moves around.”

This report is from our partners at the University of Illinois.

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