Feed ingredients potentially involved in PED transmission

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BEIJING — The potential exists for feed and/or feed ingredients to serve as a vector for porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, though more research is urgently needed. Some feeds contain spray-dried porcine plasma, and experts are taking a closer look at this product.

Researchers have found the PED virus in swine feed but to date, they have not been able to transmit it to pigs from feed.

“The industry is going to have to look hard at the use of any animal protein in feed,” says Dr. Walter Tibbits, a nutritionist with Cape Fear Consulting Company. “We do know we’re seeing it in feed but we don’t know which ingredient it’s coming from,” he told an audience in Beijing, China today.

It is known that other diseases can be identified in feed. The June 2011 Journal of Animal Science carried a research study by H.G. Shen, S. Schalk, P.G. Halbur, J.M. Campbell, L.E. Russell and T. Opriessnig called “commercially produced spray-dried porcine plasma contains increased concentrations of porcine circovirus type 2 DNA but does not transmit porcine circovirus type 2 when fed to naïve pigs.”

 “The magnitude of risk that swine feed can be a potential vector for porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus transmission is currently unknown,” posted Dr. Steve Dritz from Kansas State University on the KSU website this month. “We believe that further investigation is urgently needed to define the relative risk of feed or feed ingredients for transmission of PED virus.”

Some companies aren’t taking any chances, however. Grand Valley Fortifiers based in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, is asking its customers to stop feeding products that contain porcine origin blood plasma. It is recalling all the feed products in question and will credit farmers if they’ve bought the feed products.

Dr. Harpreet Kochhar, Chief Veterinary Officer for Canada says they are investigating reports that feed could be the means by which porcine epidemic diarrhea is spreading. PEDv has been confirmed on at least 16 farms in Ontario, one in Manitoba and one in Prince Edward Island.

During a town hall teleconference hosted by Ontario Pork recently, Dr. Kochhar says they are conducting an experiment using susceptible piglets at the National Centre for Foreign Animal Disease in Winnipeg. The study involves feeding piglets either feed or only the plasma sprayed on the feed. He notes, however, that plasma is sprayed a high temperature that should kill the virus.



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Kyle    
Ohio  |  February, 25, 2014 at 09:43 AM

Why are you limiting it to animal proteins? What about corn from an outdoor pile? Or ddgs where birds can contaminate it'? Grand Valley recalled their feed - and did what with it? Took it to a land fill? I would not want their truck coming on my farm to pick up feed after they have gone to another farm. Yes we need more work but the point is - No one has reported they have caused the disease with feed - unless they specifically infected it and then it was not infective past 14 days. If Canada has results - they need to release it. All they have said so far is they are investigating it. Everyone is nervous and we need answers. When labs get answers, they need to publish them but to do a good job - it is not quick.

Thom Katt    
Midwest  |  February, 26, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Good points Kyle. In addition to the spray drying temp likely killing the virus as noted int he article, I believe Grand Valley Fortifiers feed or feed ingredients was also pelleted which would mean another high temperature treatment. Does isolation of DNA translate into a viable source of transmission? If you analyze sausage, you are going to find swine DNA. That doesn't mean you throw it out in the yard and have a pig sprout up from it. PEDv seems to be able to jump some large distances while bypassing some farms. The outbreak is not uniform in movement. One might say it is steady by jerks and fits. With that in mind, why is it that we haven't heard of anyone checking into waterfowl and other birds acting as a primary vector?

Proof will be coming    
February, 28, 2014 at 09:07 AM

In the Canadian Bio Assay the pigs fed the infected Plasma produced higher amount of the virus then what was in the Plasma when fed which means the virus was amplified in the pig. Scientific proof it can come through the feed. The pelleting process itself does not produce high enough temps for a long enough period of time to kill the virus. If plasma is infectious then the pellet will be also after the plasma is added to the pellet mix. Waterfowl have been researched extensively as possible vectors of transmission. So far there is no solid evidence that they have been responsible for movement of the virus.

Proof will be coming    
February, 28, 2014 at 09:07 AM

In the Canadian Bio Assay the pigs fed the infected Plasma produced higher amount of the virus then what was in the Plasma when fed which means the virus was amplified in the pig. Scientific proof it can come through the feed. The pelleting process itself does not produce high enough temps for a long enough period of time to kill the virus. If plasma is infectious then the pellet will be also after the plasma is added to the pellet mix. Waterfowl have been researched extensively as possible vectors of transmission. So far there is no solid evidence that they have been responsible for movement of the virus.

Jan Weber    
Saugerties, NY  |  February, 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Can anyone explain why this story was posted from Beijing?

JoAnn Alumbaugh    
Iowa  |  March, 02, 2014 at 12:11 AM

Hi Jan, I was attending a meeting in Beijing when I heard of this news, so I posted the article while I was there. I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have. Also, in response to Kyle, it wasn't limited to animal proteins. As I said in the original article, "we don't know which ingredient it might be coming from." However, it does appear that there is a higher chance of it being transmitted through animal proteins than from other sources.

John    
Ohio  |  March, 04, 2014 at 08:31 PM

Update March 3. Canadian Food Inspection Agency reports, "The study demonstrated that the porcine blood plasma in question contained PED virus capable of causing disease in pigs. However, the study could not demonstrate that the feed pellets containing the blood plasma were capable of causing disease." I have not found any statement to support your assertion that "pigs fed the infected Plasma produced higher amount of the virus then what was in the Plasma when fed which means the virus was amplified in the pig" CFIA link http://www.inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/diseases/other-diseases/ped/eng/1392762503272/1392762576176


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