Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) is a coronavirus that infects the cells lining the small intestine of a pig, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration. The virus is similar to the transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) virus. Older hogs mostly get sick and lose weight after being infected, whereas newborn piglets usually die within five days of contracting the virus. PEDv was first confirmed in the United States in May 2013. The disease is transmitted through oral contact with contaminated feces. The most common materials or items that can be contaminated by feces from infected pigs include trucks, boots, clothing, feed and feed trucks or other similar objects.
The best weapon we have for fighting the spread of PED is biosecurity. This means minimizing contact between pigs from different locations, cleaning and disinfecting anything coming in contact with pig manure, and establishing a “clean crossing” or line of separation between potentially infected and clean areas. The following are some specific methods:
- Limit cross contamination with any suspected pig’s feces.
- Clearly define and communicate a line of separation which marks the separation between your facility, transport vehicles or the outside / inside of your production site.
- Sanitation of barns, equipment and transportation vehicles is very important; they should be clean, disinfected and dried.
- Several disinfectants have been demonstrated to effectively inactivate PEDV, such as glutaraldehyde/quaternary ammonium, accelerated hydrogen peroxide, formalin, sodium carbonate, lipid solvents, and strong iodophors in phosphoric acid.
- Replacement breeding stock should originate from a negative herd.
There are also vaccines that may be incorporated into a herd plan to help control the disease after it has been diagnosed on a premises.
Clinical Signs of Illness
In previously uninfected herds, PEDv is similar to TGE and includes:
- Severe diarrhea in pigs of all ages
- High mortality - almost 100% in preweaned pigs
Diagnosis of PEDv requires sample submissions to a diagnostic laboratory (contact your veterinarian). Treatment of PEDv infection includes supportive care through hydration. Provide clean, dry, draft-free environment with access to high-quality drinking water (electrolytes may be beneficial).
PEDv cannot be transmitted to humans, nor contaminate the human food supply.