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Research Shows PED More Infectious Than Similar Coronaviruses

01 April 2014
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The swine technical consultant for western Canada with Elanco says the US experience has shown the virus that causes Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is thousands of times more infectious than similar coronaviruses, writes Bruce Cochrane.

PEDv: Understanding the Impact on Your Farm was among the topics discussed last week as part of the Prairie Swine Centre's series of 2014 producer meetings.

Dr Peter Provis, the swine technical consultant for western Canada with Elanco Animal Health, notes PEDv can act very much like TGE, a sister coronavirus, but it is much more infectious.

Dr Peter Provis-Elanco Animal Health

We're starting to learn from our colleagues in the US that this virus differs from TGE in a couple of respects and one respect is that it's highly infectious.

For many viruses you need a certain amount of virus particles to cause disease in an animal.

We're learning that with PED it doesn't take very many of these viruses which means that if you don't get things right in terms of your biosecurity or your traffic or your procedures that a very small amount of virus can be introduced into your barn and the disease will take hold.

We've come to understand from some work done in the US that the amount of virus that's excreted by a pig with PED will be thousands and thousands of times that from TGE.

The example that gets thrown out is that one small gram of feces from a piglet infected with PED, and we'll say that a gram is about the size of a pencil eraser, would contain as much virus as a whole ton of feces from a TGE infected pig so there's a substantial difference in terms of the load of that virus that's going to be out there in the environment.

Dr Provis says the focus has to continue to be on prevention and the industry has done a good job in getting that message out.

He says when the economic implications of getting this infection on the farm are considered it doesn't take very long to recognise the significance of that message.

ThePigSite News Desk

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