Food Glorious Food: How PMWS can be Controlled through Feed

Researchers have been unable to link PMWS with any dietary ingredient or colostrum intake, but one feed additive appeared to reduce the number of pigs excreting PCV2 viruses. The results are summarised in the June 2008 issue of the newsletter from the EU PCVD Consortium.
calendar icon 30 June 2008
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When Post Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome (PMWS) first showed its devastating effects, many asked was it something to do with feed. Meat and bone meal had just been removed and fish meal inclusion in diets was restricted.

  • Hypothesis 1: Protein Source causal in PCVD. Hence the first trial work on feed used raw vegetable proteins such as soybean and kidney bean at 50% inclusion in diet fed to pigs inoculated with PCV2. Result no development of PCVD
  • Hypothesis 2: Lack of antibodies causal in PCVD.

DeviGuard reduced the proportion of pigs excreting PCV2 viruses

The second trial tested this hypothesis by feeding colostrum-deprived pigs, inoculated with PCV2, milk diets with and without antibody supplementation.

Result antibody supplementation of feed had no effect on PCVD.

As a feed-related cause was elusive, the next approach was to try and alleviate the effects of PCVD via feed.

DeviGuard is a mixture of encapsulated fatty acids formulated to specific ratios. It was used to supplement a standard diet and offered to pigs in a contact model. Healthy pigs that had been mixed with pigs showing clinical signs of PCVD began to excrete PCV2 within 24 house of contact with sick pigs.

These contact pigs on the control diet continued to excrete PCV2 virus while the contact pigs on the DeviGuard diet excreted less virus and some stopped excreting totally (Figure 1).


  • Diet does not appear to be the cause of PCVD
  • In-feed antibody supplementation is ineffective
  • DeviGuard supplementation of diet reduces PCV2 excretion within 2 days of being included in the feed (data on file).
October 2008

Further Reading

- Find out more information on DeviGuard by clicking here.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PMWS by clicking here.
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