Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) is similar to transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) and can cause devastating losses up to 100 percent in infected piglets three weeks of age and younger. The virus spreads rapidly through a herd via fecal-oral contamination and infects pigs within 12 to 36 hours.

The American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) has served as a clearinghouse for information. The AASV staff has done a superb job of providing updates on the disease’s spread and research projects that are underway.

One interesting news release reported on a discovery by a Silicon Valley engineer. He and a friend, who had served as a veterinarian at a medical device business, formed LiveLeaf. The company produces special water purifiers made from ingredients including pomegranate and green tea, both of which are known for their powerful antioxidants. This year the company marketed its first product, Grazix, a hog feed supplement. Reportedly, Grazix stops diarrhea within a few hours, keeping infected hogs alive long enough for their bodies to develop immunity to the virus. The product has been used in China, but it’s unknown whether or not it has been tested in the United States and the release did not cite research studies.

Projects that involve finding faster diagnostic tests, identifying how long the virus can live, biosecurity improvements, transportation procedures and more are underway. Here are three of the most recent studies:

Environmental stability of PEDv

This study is designed to determine the environmental stability of PEDv, including: survival of PEDv in fresh feces that represents the risk posed by transport; survival of PEDv in slurry (old feces in the pit) that reflects the risk of manure spreading; PEDv survival in drinking and recycled water (truck washes); and PEDv survival in animal feed.

Epidemiologic investigation on propensity for lateral spread of PED virus

The first objective of this study is to determine the prevalence and incidence of PED virus contamination in transport vehicles at slaughter. The second is to determine incidence of infection in unrelated sites adjacent to known infected sites and identify site-level risk factors associated with infection.

Evaluation of time and temperature sufficient to kill PEDV in swine feces on metal surfaces

The objective of this study is to investigate the combinations of time and temperature sufficient to kill PEDv in swine feces on the metal surface of a model trailer used to haul pigs. The results of this study will inform producers and veterinarians about the adequacy of current sanitation procedures for live-haul trailers and enable them to make better decisions about investments in truck sanitation.

For more information on PEDv, visit with your veterinarian. Information also is available online at www.aasv.org and www.porknetwork.com.