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Questions over Source of EU PEDv Outbreaks

28 October 2015

EU - Following the outbreaks of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus in North America, which started in 2013, new strains of the virus were found in Europe the following year. Andrea Ladinig from the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna told the Pig Industry Conference in Herning Denmark that the virus that struck pig units in Germany was a new strain of PEDv.

She said the isolates were different from the ones found in the 1970’s and 1980s when the disease was first discovered in the UK.

She said the cluster with S INDEL PEDv isolates found in US sharing approximately 99.4 per cent nucleotide identity with OH851.

She added that the strain S INDEL PEDv might in some cases be able to cause severe clinical signs and high mortality in piglets.

But she said the question was where these strains came from and how were they introduced into Europe.

The PED outbreaks reported in Europe since spring 2014 included a case in a finisher site in northern Germany, which was affected in spring 2014 , another in a finisher site in southern Germany, affected in May 2014 and cases in second finisher farm and two sow farms in southern Germany.

Cases were also reported in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Spain, Estonia and Romania.

She added that although Ukraine has not officially had cases of PED, a case report has been published of a highly virulent strain similar to the strains in the US and China.

Dr Ladinig said that all the strains in the EU were the S INDEL PEDv strain similar to US OH851.

PEDv was introduced into the US in April 2013, with the first cases in Ohio, Indiana and Iowa before spreading to 34 US States as well as Canada and Mexico.

The virus isolates were almost identical to Chinese PEDv strains.

It has been a reportable disease since 5 June 2014.

Dr Ladinig told the conference that the theory for the most probable cause of the outbreak in North America was through the use of Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers - FIBC or tote bags, “big bags” or “bulk bags”.

They are commonly used to transport many types of material including sand for flood control, soybeans, pet treats and any kind of bulk material including pig feed.

The FIBCs which are designed to be reused were probably contaminated in the origin country by be transported in contaminated trucks or through exposure to irrigation or flood waters containing pig manure, organically grown soybeans or through birds.

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Chris Harris

Chris Harris

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