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PEDV still taking major toll on US sow farms

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Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is still around and can lead to major losses for pork producers, cautioned Gene Nemechek, DVM, technical services veterinarian, Zoetis.

In North Carolina, Nemechek’s home state, some producers who thought their animals were protected against PEDV last winter were surprised to be hit with the disease, which spread from farm to farm and caused heavy losses, he said.

In finishers, PEDV will cause production losses but mortality is low. The real toll occurs on sow farms, where there can be 3 to 5 weeks of suckling-pig losses, he said.

“It’s a very hardy virus. It’s doesn’t die off real easily in cold weather…it doesn’t take a lot of virus particles to get it started back up” in susceptible pigs, Nemechek told Pig Health Today.

Biosecurity — including a focus on preventing PEDV exposure on transportation trucks — is probably the most important step that can be taken to minimize the spread of the virus from site to site.

It’s also important to avoid bringing in gilts naïve to PEDV. Vaccination of the sow herd and gilts may be helpful, especially on farms close to other farms with PEDV, he said, but added there’s still more to learn about the best PEDV vaccination protocols.

Eliminating PEDV from farms requires a combination of biosecurity measures including herd closure, sanitizing after an outbreak and exposure of sows to live PEDV via feedback — an effective and quick way to help build sow immunity. This three-pronged approach was learned from experience with transmissible gastroenteritis — and it’s usually successful, Nemechek said.


Posted on September 21, 2017

tags: , ,
  • PED — live with it or eliminate it?

    The porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus that devastated the US swine industry several years ago continues to persist, causing fewer pig deaths but curtailing pig growth.

  • What PED taught us about handling future disease outbreaks

    The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) outbreak that devastated many US hog farms over the past 4 years served as a wake-up call for the pork industry to be more vigilant against foreign animal diseases.

  • Currently available vaccines important tools for managing PEDV-infected sow herds

    Currently available vaccines can be important tools for managing sow herds endemically infected with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).

  • PEDV and other pathogens survive in feed for weeks

    In 2013-2014, infection of pig farms with PEDV was a frequent event, even in farms using the highest level of biosecurity. In an effort to determine how this could happen, Scott Dee, DVM, began investigating.

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