In compliance with a recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) federal order requiring diagnostic laboratories to report swine enteric coronavirus diseases (SECD), the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) will disclose positive and negative test information for the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) and the porcine deltacoronavirus to the USDA and State animal health officials (SAHO). This order is effective as of June 5, 2014. Though PEDv has been an issue within the swine industry for some time, the discovery of several new swine corona viruses prompted USDA to take action.
The USDA estimates that PEDv has killed nearly 7 million piglets and the number of market-ready hogs in 2014 could fall by more than 10-percent compared to those in 2013 because of the virus’ impact. In a written release, the USDA said: “We believe it is important from the standpoint of overall U.S. animal health for USDA and State animal health authorities to play a greater role in monitoring these diseases, tracing their spread, and advising on best practices to address and control them.”
TVMDL Amarillo developed a polymerase chain reaction test earlier this year, to detect PEDv antigen, as well as an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to detect porcine coronavirus type 2 antibody.
Producers and/or veterinarians testing for a SECD disease will now be required to provide a premises identification number (PIN) when submitting samples. Regardless of positive or negative test results, the following information will be sent to the USDA and/or SAHO.
- Date the sample was collected
- Type of unit being sampled (sow, nursery, finisher)
- Test method to make the diagnosis
- Diagnostic test result
Both the TVMDL and the USDA will protect the client’s confidential information. If a positive test is reported to the USDA or SAHO, the testing operation will be required to work with a veterinarian to develop and implement a herd management plan. This plan must be provided to USDA officials. This requirement is designed to immediately address the outbreak and prevent the spread of the virus so as to best support business continuity for commercial pork producers. Texas producers and veterinarians should contact the Texas Animal Health Commission at 1.800.550.8242 for more information.
According to the USDA, the exact details of a successful herd management plan will be developed in cooperation with SAHO, veterinarians and producers in the coming weeks. However, a herd management plan should include the following:
- Employee and visitor biosecurity enhancement
- Biosecurity for pigs coming on to site
- Cleaning and disinfection of facility
- Monitoring trucks and trucking personnel
- Tracking feed components
To aid in implementing testing requirements, herd management and more, the USDA has allotted more than $26 million to combat PEDV. This money will support the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service’s development of vaccines, support State’s herd management and disease control activities, provide cost-share funding for producers of infected herds to support biosecurity practices, and support the National Animal Health Laboratory Network’s (NAHLN) diagnostic laboratories research on genomic sequencing for newly positive herds. TVMDL is one of the 12 core NAHLN laboratories.
Veterinarians are on the front line for recognizing and addressing illness if it strikes. TVMDL relies on veterinarians to provide thorough information when submitting diagnostic samples for testing. This information will aid the USDA in determining the magnitude of SECD impact as well as assist in managing the disease. The ultimate goal is to stop the spread of the viruses and maintain business continuity for the swine industry.
Additionally, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced the first conditional vaccine license for PEDv was granted to Harrisvaccines, Inc. The Ames, Iowa, company developed the vaccine for use in sows. According to the USDA, the vaccinated sows would build an antibody that is transmitted to piglets through the sow’s milk. Therefore, the piglets would also build antibodies.
APHIS granted the conditional license based on preliminary studies that showed promising results of an effective vaccine. In emergent situations, such as with PEDv, APHIS supports rapid development of vaccines. The developing company can continue to pursue full licensing while producers are able to use the vaccine to protect herds.
For more information on the conditional vaccine and USDA testing requirements, visit aphis.usda.gov. If you have questions regarding swine corona virus testing, contact TVMDL Amarillo at 888.646.5624, or TVMDL College Station at 888.646.5623. Visit tvmdl.tamu.edu for complete laboratory testing information.