October 17th 2014
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) is an infectious disease new to hog operations in the United States. The coronavirus spreads quickly and causes severe diarrhea and dehydration. Though older hogs tend to recover, newborn piglets (less than two weeks old) have a 100% mortality rate.1
The virus, related to TGE, has killed millions of pigs all over the U.S.1, 2
Though, obviously a serious disease for pork producers, PEDv is not a threat to the food supply or to humans. It is also not a reportable disease for the World Organization for Animal Health or currently a regulated disease in the U.S.1
“PEDv is mainly transmitted via indirect or direct contact through fecal/oral means. It can also spread by fomites, aerosol emissions and most recently through transmission of feed ingredients,” according to a press release by Alltech.3 Research is ongoing.
A new vaccine with a conditional USDA license, developed by Harrisvaccines, is available with a veterinary prescription. The vaccine does not offer complete protection, though, and new strains of PEDv have been identified.2, 4
Because PEDv is spread through manure, tight bio-security is an essential prevention measure.
Keep a set of boots and work clothes specifically for use in your buildings—both for you and your visitors. You may even want to have a separate set for each building. Make sure the farm boots and clothes are kept completely separate. It’s a good idea to change into these boots and clothes in a garage or office.
Ensure everyone who enters the buildings first washes their hands. Showering is also a good way to keep infected manure out of your buildings.
Limit visitors. Consider how advance planning can help limit deliveries (and potential exposure) to your farm.
Ask all the visitors to your site (vendors, contractors, suppliers, mechanics, drivers) about their PEDv prevention measures and about the PEDv status of any of their other clients.
Let your neighbors, contractors, suppliers, etc. know if you have an outbreak to help prevent the spread to other farms.
Practice all-in, all-out production so that your buildings—and the equipment in them—can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between groups of pigs. Mark Stolie, ISU Extension specialist, recommends using a foaming tip on the power washer and a leaf blower for drying. 5
Sanitize and clean transport vehicles before and after each delivery. Heat vehicles to 160 degrees for 10 minutes to kill the virus. Wait 12 hours between loads. 1
Order equipment from the manufacturer and have it shipped directly to your farm.
Provide tools and equipment—like your own power washer—as often as possible for service providers on your farm. Ask electricians, plumbers, mechanics, and others which common tools you could keep on-site.
Keep rodents and other animals out of the buildings.
Isolate pigs for 30 days when they’re first introduced to your farm (or when they come back from a fair or weigh-in).1, 6
Do chores from youngest to oldest pigs.
Watch carefully for signs of the illness.
Make a plan with your veterinarian for preventing, diagnosing, and treating the illness.
Because of concerns about the virus being transmitted through feed containing animal by-products, switching to a completely plant-based protein could be helpful.
If you suspect PEDv on your farm, it’s important to order diagnostic testing.
The virus is confirmed by checking the feces or intestines of affected pigs. The testing process is the same for TGE and PEDv.7 It’s best to collect samples from pigs who have been severely ill for less than 24 hours and are still living. Otherwise, you can collect samples from pigs within minutes after death.
See the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory’s website for specific requirements.
If your pigs do get the virus, provide unlimited water but withhold feed for a few days. Provide a clean and dry environment. Because older pigs are very likely to recover from the illness, consider exposing sows to the virus. Research indicates that pregnant sows can pass on immunity to their piglets.1 Discuss options and techniques with your veterinarian.
And, again, communicate with your neighbors, contractors, suppliers, and others about the outbreak to help others take precautions.
1. Iowa Pork Producers Association Headlines newsletter. “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv).” Summer 2013, Vol. 12 No. 2. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. http://www.iowapork.org/FileLibrary/States/IA/News/Headlines%20Newsletter/Headlines%20Summer%202013.pdf
2. Keenan, Chelsea. “Iowa company gets conditional license to sell PEDv vaccine.” The Gazette. 17 Jun. 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. . http://thegazette.com/subject/news/iowa-company-gets-conditional-license-to-sell-pedv-vaccine-20140617
3. Alltech. “Preventing PEDv: Take Another Look At Biosecurity And Nutrition.” Alltech.com, 27 Feb 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. http://www.alltech.com/news/news-articles/2014/02/27/preventing-pedv-take-another-look-biosecurity-and-nutrition&
4. Mayer, Amy. “Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus continues relentless spread.” Iowa Public Radio, 01 Jan. 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. http://iowapublicradio.org/post/porcine-epidemic-diarrhea-virus-continues-relentless-spread
5. Storlie, Mark. “PEDV Prevention Rests on Communication, Cleaning and Following Safe Operating Procedures.” National Hog Farmer, 11 Apr 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. http://nationalhogfarmer.com/business/pedv-prevention-rests-communication-cleaning-and-following-safe-operating-procedures
6. Colby, Sally. “Preventing and Managing PEDv.” Farming: The Journal of Northeast Agriculture. Farmingmagazine.com, 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 01 Oct. 2014. http://www.farmingmagazine.com/blog-6928.aspx
7. Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine. “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED): Diagnostic Testing.” Vetmed.iastate.edu. Web. 01 Oct. 2014 . http://vetmed.iastate.edu/vdpam/disease-topics/porcine-epidemic-diarrhea-ped-diagnostic-testing