There’s now a new strain of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) on the loose, recently confirmed by the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) announced the confirmation last month.
“Three naturally occurring U.S. PEDV strains have been identified: the original PEDV, the PEDV with changes in the spike gene (INDEL), and the PEDV strain (S2aadel),” the AASV reported in an article here. “The role of genetic changes in the US PEDV strains to clinical disease has yet to be reported. The clinical presentation of diarrhea in this case was reported as equally or more severe than such presentation in cases caused by the prototype PEDV Colorado/2013.”
The CDC adds that though the North American PEDv variant-INDEL strain was only recently identified, it was first detected in June 2013 and reported in February 2014 by the Ohio Department of Agriculture. This suggests the original PEDv strain mutated or two different PEDv strains were introduced concurrently in the United States.
Since it was first identified in U.S. hog herds in April 2013, PEDv had killed an estimated 8 million pigs. It is a fast-spreading disease that thrives in cold weather, and it doesn’t take much of infected feces to spread the infection. One gram of feces diluted in 24,000 gallons of water is still enough to infect pigs.
In June, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the department would pump $26 million into fighting the disease, including $11.1 million to support strengthened bio-security practices at farms. Vilsack also announced mandatory PEDv reporting.