Contaminated Feed Most Probable Cause of US PED Outbreak

US - A veterinary consultant based in Quebec, Canada, says contaminated feed appears to be the most probably source of the outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) that has infected swine herds in 17 US states, according to Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 1 October 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Authorities in the US are working to identify the source of an outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea that has spread to 17 states.

Dr Marie-Claude Poulin, a Quebec City based veterinary consultant who first encountered PED in 2000 while working China, explains the infection is highly transmissible and she notes some of the farms she worked became infected with PED when they did not become infected with PRRS.

Dr Marie-Claude Poulin-Quebec City Veterinary Consultant

The main problem is with contaminated transport trucks with contaminated materials and fomites transported by humans are the main elements of transmission.

Recently with some of the outbreaks in the US it has been shown that the virus might be transmissible by aerosol over long distances but this remains to be confirmed and assessed in a more scientific way.

Interestingly there has been another study in the US where they looked at trucks going to the slaughter house and 11 per cent of the trucks that arrived clean without PED virus were leaving back with viruses.

That means one truck out of 10 gets contaminated during the process of unloading the pigs.

So far it has not been possible to confirm how the disease got into the US pig population.

However, preliminary reports on the epidemiological investigation of the first cases has outlined that if there is some area that might need to be better investigated it is the feed.

Obviously they're not making a straight relationship with that but if there is something to look at, it's probably the first aspect that we need to look at.

Dr Poulin says in the absence of effective vaccines the best defence against PED is adherence to strict biosecurity protocols.

Further Reading

Find out more information on PED by clicking here.

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