Porcine epidemic diarrhea

Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) is a serious viral disease in pigs. The main route of transmission is by manure and transport. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research conducts research on this disease.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea was first reported in the United Kingdom in 1971 and circulated in many European countries in the early 80s. It is a coronavirus to which only pigs are susceptible.

PED-virus causes a high mortality rate among pigs. The virus is transmitted faecal-orally and may be transmitted by aerosols. Pigs shed virus for 7 -9 days and the virus can be stable in faeces for quite some time.

Wageningen Bioveterinary Research has tests that demonstrate an infection with porcine epidemic diarrhea.

Porcine epidemic diarrhea infection

The causative agent is porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), which belongs to the family ofCoronaviridae. It is an enveloped single-stranded positive sense RNA virus. Other coronaviruses in pigs are transmissible gastro enteritis (TGE) virus and swine delta corona (SDC) virus.

Clinical signs porcine epidemic diarrhea

The disease is characterized by severe enteritis, vomiting, watery diarrhea, dehydration, and a high mortality rate among swine.

Spread of porcine epidemic diarrhea

PED-virus has been reported in many countries in Europe between 1971 and 1980. In the USA, the virus was first reported in May 2013 where it caused a huge outbreak with millions of fatalities in young piglets. There have also been reports of outbreaks in Canada, Asia and South America. Since 2015 an increase of PED-virus outbreaks have been observed in Europe. However disease outbreaks in Europe have not been as severe as in North America.

Diagnostics porcine epidemic diarrhea

Good laboratory diagnostics are essential to reliably detect the infection and to determine whether a farm is free of the disease. Wageningen Bioveterinary Research has tests to identify the virus. Fecal samples can be tested by PCR and blood samples can be tested for the presence of PEDV antibodies.

Vaccine porcine epidemic diarrhea

There is no vaccine against this viral disease available in Europe. Animals can only be treated by symptom control.

Prevention and control of porcine epidemic diarrhea

Good hygiene is essential to prevent infections or to eliminate the virus from a farm. The most important infection routes of PED are animal transport, transport of infected piglets, visitors on the farm and transport of manure. In principle, many well-known disinfectants can be used to control the PED virus, but oxidative disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide are generally the most effective.