Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) is a deadly virus that is said to have killed more than 8 million pigs in the US alone, which is approximately 10% of the hog population. It has been on the radar of vaccine developers since it first appeared in April 2013. A new strain of the virus has now been discovered in Minnesota on a hog farm.
There were already two known stains of the disease, of which the first was the most virulent. This third strain was reported by researchers last month in a journal from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and appears to be as virulent as that first strain, bringing renewed worry to pig farmers throughout the US.
It is unclear if this strain has simply been undiscovered until now, or if this is a mutation of the original virus.
PEDv is reported to be transferred between pigs through contact with infected manure, meaning it can also be transferred between farms on trucks. Precautions will need to be taken on pig farms to match those of other strains, including washing trucks and other equipment to stay the virus.
This virus outbreak has hit pork prices, raising them for the consumer and has also left a plethora of pig carcasses which produce harmful bacteria and pathogens. Such is the impact livestock diseases have on society and thus the urgency of manufacturers to produce vaccines against the disease.
One of the success stories amongst those manufacturers is that of Harrisvaccines, who have the first USDA conditional licensure of a PEDv vaccine using an RNA platform. You can hear their story at the Veterinary Vaccines Conference, taking place as part of the World Vaccine Congress on April 7-9 in Washington. For more information on the specifics of Harrisvaccines’ presentation and who else you can hear from, download the brochure.
See Reuters article.