ATLANTA – Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) is currently active and considered endemic in different parts of the globe — namely the Pacific Rim countries of China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, according to Paul Sundberg, DVM, PhD., senior vice president of science and technology with the National Pork Board. During a presentation titled “Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Status and Research Update” on the opening day of the International Production and Processing Expo (IPPE) at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Sundberg discussed the global impact of the virus.

“Canada had its first positive cases in January 2014,” Sundberg said. Other countries with cases include Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Ukraine and Peru.

Many researchers in the US continue investigating this mysterious virus. In spring 2014, PEDv research included feed-related research. Research continues to address sow immunity in an effort to assess sow herd status while investigating new viral introductions. Meanwhile, 2015 PEDv research goals include focusing on sow immunity and novel vaccine administration technologies.

What has been learned to date, according to Sundberg, is that PEDv can survive in many different conditions. “These include pits; feed slurry; manure; water — fresh and recycled; and in feed ingredients.”

PEDv can also survive in cold conditions, and survivability in pits can be time-dependent.

“Transportation management is critical.” he said. The following procedures for trucks used to transport hogs can help kill the virus:

• 160°F for 10 minutes kills PEDv.

• 68°F for seven days kills PEDv.

• Clean, disinfectants and heat can kill PEDv and other pathogens (Quaternary—ammonium/gluteraldehyde); Accel (hydrogen peroxide mix); and others (i.e., bleach, phenolics, etc.)

Sows respond to feedback and develop antibodies. While oral exposure is best, exposure also causes clinical illness. Vaccines can help, but killed products may not have enough foreign protein to stimulate immunity.

Regarding sow immunity, immunity has been seen for at least six to seven months; work being done on cross-protection and some protection may be happening. Industry and its allies will use results of these studies for continuation of work for 2015.

In addressing feed management, Sundberg relayed that it takes a very small amount of virus to infect pigs. Some potential products can help to eliminate virus in feed (formaldehyde-based, medium chain fatty acids; and essential oils.) Assessment of pelleting and heat treatment may be effective for point-in-time virus control.

Addressing feed management, Sundberg said PEDv survival of either the rendering and hydrolyzed protein processes was deemed to be negligible; PEDv survival after spray-drying and a storage period was negligible; and post-processing contamination by vector and air pathways were categorized as negligible to low.

“However, [if] rendering plants categorized as ‘open facilities’ skid steer loaders are used to move the finished ingredient, the likelihood for post-processing contamination was low to moderate,” Sundberg added.

In discussing the importance of being prepared for the next animal related crisis and future challenges, Sundberg said the best approach is a coordinated approach.

“We can’t expect USDA alone to protect our herds from emerging diseases,” he added. “Industry needs to take more responsibility for non-regulatory diseases. Better state-federal-industry response coordination is essential.”

Sundberg urged that the biggest, existing threats to pig health already in Southeast Asia be researched now by US interests and animal experts. “Be better prepared; have better diagnostic capabilities in place and have better awareness of how to respond to specific diseases,” he added. “Sharing information will help to see and recognize trends and risks much more quickly.

Sundberg said it’s still too early to know if PEDv can be eliminated. “But next year at this time, we may know more,” he said.