February 01, 2014

 

 Pig disease has affected 20 states

Posted Jan. 15, 2014
 
Porcine epidemic diarrhea has been found in pigs from 20 states since its emergence in the U.S. in spring 2013.
 
The virus also was found in environmental samples but not in the pigs of one other state, Virginia.
 
The American Association of Swine Veterinarians has provided updates on where the virus has been found.
 
The disease had not been found in the U.S. prior to April 2013. Dr. Tom Burkgren, executive director of the AASV, said in December 2013 it was unclear whether investigators would be able to find the source of the near-simultaneous initial outbreaks in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio.
 
The disease is spreading through contaminated pig trailers and trucks as well as breaking out inexplicably in herds within a few miles of unrelated herds that have infections, he said.
 
“It leads to a certain amount of frustration out there, both among veterinarians and certainly with producers, that we’re not stopping the spread of it right now,” Dr. Burkgren said.
 
An article published in October 2013 in mBio, the American Society of Microbiology’s online, open-access journal, indicates that, on the basis of genetic and phylogenetic analysis of three strains recovered in Minnesota and Iowa, the U.S. strains were closely related to Chinese PED virus strains, particularly to a strain isolated in 2012 in China’s Anhui province. Dr. Burkgren said that region has manufacturing facilities that produce ingredients added to livestock feed, but it remains unclear how the virus entered the U.S., and the swine industry is depending on the Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration for further investigation.
 
Joelle Hayden, a spokeswoman for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said APHIS is working with the swine industry to determine how PED could have entered the United States. She also said those with a stake in animal industries have legitimate concerns that those unknown routes could be routes for entry of “high consequence” diseases such as classical swine fever or foot-and-mouth disease.
 

Related JAVMA content:

Viral disease affects U.S. pigs (July 1, 2013) www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/130701n.aspx
Fighting a deadly pig disease (Aug. 15, 2013) www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/130815i.aspx
Assay to help identify PED-infected pigs (Nov. 1, 2013) www.avma.org/News/JAVMANews/Pages/131101j.aspx