University of Minnesota Tuesday announced it has developed a first-of-its-kind diagnostic test for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, a deadly disease affecting more than 300 swine herds in at least 14 states. The test is available now.
Samples from animals suspected of carrying PEDV can be submitted to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. Test results are known within 24 hours, allowing for swine producers and farmers to take necessary precautions to prevent further spread. Genetic material is also extracted from the samples, which can be tested and tracked to monitor PEDV spread.
Samples including swine fecal swabs, saliva, serum, feed, and fecal, intestinal and lung tissues can be tested via a multiplex assay which identifies the presence of not just PEDV, but also transmissible gastroenteritis – a virus with similar symptoms that has existed in U.S. swine populations for some time.
Pairing the tests improves affordability to agriculture by bringing the cost of the test to less than $50.
PEDV, which often presents itself first as vomiting and diarrhea, can wipe out an average of 50% of young swine at newly affected farms, U of M said. There is currently no known vaccine or treatment for the virus. It was first identified in the United States in May.
In addition to development of the test, the U of M team has completed sequencing the DNA of one strain of U.S. PEDV. The sequence has been deposited into the GenBank database in the National Center for Biotechnology Information to help amplify the research potential of new PEDV genome understanding.
Development of a cost-effective bioassay to determine whether PEDV is being spread via non-genetic materials including feedstuffs is ongoing at the University. Investigations aim to both identify the presence of PEDV and determine whether it is alive and active, thus posing a risk.
The University is collaborating with the USDA, the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine Swine Disease Eradication Center, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the University of Minnesota BioMedical Genomics Center to identify how the disease entered the U.S. and understand how to limit its spread.
The National Pork Board in June, and again earlier this week, has pledged checkoff funding to combat the disease. Additional funding for the project was offered by Zoetis Animal Health.
News source: University of Minnesota
Read more on PEDV:
Pork Board Pledges More Funding For Deadly Hog Disease
PEDV Continues Spread In Swine Herds
Pork Board Keeping PEDV Top-Of-Mind
Pork Checkoff Still Battling PEDV Questions
Hog Producers See PEDV
USDA Detects Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus