Be especially careful with biosecurity when transporting pigs. The “Precision Pig of the Future” must have a high health status, and that will be difficult to achieve as long as U.S. producers are dealing with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) Harrisvaccines, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, has developed a vaccine to control PEDv. According to a news release from Reuters, the company recently shipped about 770,000 doses of the new vaccine, called “iPED,” to treat the virus, which has been identified in 20 states as of publication.
According to Joel Harris, Harrisvaccines' head of sales and marketing, the vaccine has been used in multiple states, including Iowa and North Carolina. He says it is too early to know how effective the vaccine will be.
Vaccines for PEDv are available in Europe and Asia, but they have not proven to be as effective as needed. The virus isn’t a problem in Europe at the present time but is still impacting herds in Asia. This is the first vaccine developed for PEDv in the United States.
PEDv is similar to transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), but producers and veterinarians refer to PEDv as “TGE on steroids.” In its acute form, it kills virtually all pigs less than 10 days old due to diarrhea and dehydration. Older pigs become ill and it causes anorexia, diarrhea and vomiting in sows. The virus, which was first seen in the United States this spring, has spread throughout the Midwest and in other pork-producing states, including Oklahoma and North Carolina.
“The vaccine is predominately being used in herds that are already affected,” stated Harris in the Reuters release. “They have either already been exposed to the virus or it is used when bringing in animals where the virus is already present.”
The company said it is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to obtain a conditional license to more widely market and sell the vaccine. The vaccine is currently available through a veterinarian prescription basis only, Harris said.
The USDA can grant a company a conditional license for animal vaccines in special circumstances including, emergency situations or for a limited market distribution, said Lyndsay Cole in the news release. Cole is a spokesperson for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
Harrisvaccines hopes to have conditional USDA approval by early to mid-2014.
As of Dec. 15, 2013, 1,764 U.S. premises have reported PEDv cases since the disease was first recognized in April. Each premise could represent thousands of infected animals.