CANADA - Research being conducted by the University of Manitoba and the Prairie Agricultural Machinery Institute has show the porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) virus is capable of surviving in manure lagoons, writes Bruce Cochrane.
A pilot study on PED virus survivability and infectivity in Manitoba lagoons has been discussed recently as part of Prairie Livestock Expo in Winnipeg.
Dr Ehsan Khafipour, an assistant professor gastrointestinal microbiology with the University of Manitoba, explains fresh manure samples were collected from infected barns, in Manitoba, from the pits and from the lagoons at different depths and locations and analysed for the presence or absence of the virus to assess its survivability and infectivity under Manitoba conditions to gain insight in terms of controls and methodology for elimination and eradication of the virus.
Dr Ehsan Khafipour-University of Manitoba:
One of the major findings in this research was that the load of virus in the bottom layer of the lagoon is increasing over time, at least at least during the period that we have been monitoring these lagoons.
During the seven or eight weeks of this study we observed that the viral load at the bottom layer increased and it might be because of the accumulation of virus.
In one of the farms, still at the time that we were sampling from the lagoons, the animals were there so they were probably still shedding and infected manure was coming into the lagoon and settling down.
As a result the concentration or load of virus in the bottom layer of the lagoon was going up.
The other observation was that at the bottom layer of the lagoon we had lower pH.
Some of the researchers from the United States were suggesting that the lower pH is a better environment for the virus to survive.
Dr Khafipour says 99.5 per cent of the samples collected from the lagoons were positive for the virus.
He says the second phase of the project, which starts in January, will look at infectivity of the virus.
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