Early diagnosis of Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) is the best way of decreasing piglet mortality concludes a “catch-all” overview of the condition issued by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The overview traces the global history of PEDv from its first appearance in the UK in 1971, through its development in Europe and Asia, to its current “virulent strain” advance across the US. The FAO content includes information on the background to the virus; an account of how pigs are infected; analysis of its impact on herds, and recommendations for prevention and control.
One key discussion point concerns the pros and cons of encouraging “passive immunity” as a potential prevention and control method, highlighting the use is this approach during initial outbreaks in the US when producers on affected farms, or in neighbouring areas, were urged to expose pre-farrowing sows to PEDv with the aim of creating immunity for their piglets during the suckling period.
FAO also draws attention to the importance of improved biosecurity in risk areas. This includes introducing additional biosecurity checkpoints for visitors and personnel entering farms, the provision of off-site drop-off or pick-up points for vehicles and the setting up of special entry points to farms for vehicle drivers.
“Reducing the presence of rodents and birds on farms will reduce the risk of spreading PEDv onto and within farms,” it is stated. “Although most US commercial herds are kept in closed barns, cracks in ventilation areas and broken windows or doors can contribute to the presence of rodents and birds.
“In other pork producing countries, where only semi-intensive systems are in place, rodent and wildlife have easy access to the pigs. Restricting the access of wildlife to pigs can greatly enhance biosecurity and prevent the spread of disease, including PEDv.”