‘False alarms’ by Seneca Valley virus trigger costly FMD investigations

A growing number of Seneca Valley virus (SVV) outbreaks wastes the time and money of people who investigate suspected foreign animal-disease outbreaks, reported Fabio Vannucci, DVM, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota.
calendar icon 30 May 2018
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SVV clinically mimics foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). As a result, an outbreak of SVV must be treated like a foreign animal disease until the government can rule out FMD.

“The FMD diagnostics take up the time of laboratories, veterinarians and state officials. Because it looks like FMD, it is very scary for the industry and public. It is a huge inconvenience and burden,” Vannucci told Pig Health Today.

Better understanding, testing needed

“We don’t really understand much about SVV,” Vannucci admitted. “We do know in countries with FMD, an outbreak is widespread throughout a production system. This is opposite to SVV, which happens in batches or pockets. Not all the pigs are affected at once so its transmission to other pigs occurs in progressive weeks.

“It doesn’t have a direct impact on hogs in terms of production or mortality, except transient neonatal mortality,” he added.

SVV is very stable and will survive in most environments. Trailers used to haul pigs may be a potential problem because most cleaning solutions won’t kill the virus. He did note hydrogen peroxide is pretty effective.

Testing for SVV has improved with same-day polymerase chain reaction testing of oral swabs.

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