ISU researchers develop way to help hog farmers with PEDV

Ag/Outdoor

September 17th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Iowa State University researchers have developed a new tool to help fight a virus sweeping across U-S hog farms that has the potential to kill entire litters of piglets. Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus has been confirmed in 17 states including Iowa since its first appearance last spring. Iowa State University’s John Johnson says they’ve developed a test that identifies the animal’s immune response to exposure to help determine when it’s safe to move the hogs.

“If we say, well, the P-C-R is negative but they are antibody positive, then the producer and their veterinarian have to assess the amount of risk they’re willing to assume on moving those animals,” Johnson says. But, Johnson says, if both tests are negative, producers can be confident their pigs won’t infect a new herd. Johnson says researchers are still trying to understand this virus. “There’s just a whole lot we don’t know yet about PED as far as the whole epidemiology of the disease,” according to Johnson.

P-E-D-V is particularly devastating for piglets and entire litters can be wiped out — which poses serious economic impacts for producers. P-E-D-V has been confirmed on almost 600 farms, but is not dangerous to humans.

(Radio Iowa)