A new rapid diagnostic test is developed for U.S. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus
An outbreak of Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) first confirmed in the United State May 17, has spread to 17 states and killed thousands of young swine. In response, researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine have developed a PEDV rapid diagnostic test. The first-of-its-kind, the test provides a way to quickly identify the presence of domestic PEDV strains.
Although PEDV does not pose a risk to other animals or humans and is no risk to food safety, it kills an average of 50 percent of young swine at newly affected farms. A widespread outbreak could cause significant losses in the pork industry, and at this time there is no known vaccine or treatment for the virus that causes acute diarrhea and vomiting.
Samples from animals suspected of carrying PEDV can be submitted to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) for testing. “Test results are known within 24 hours, allowing for swine producers and farmers to take necessary precautions to prevent further spread. Genetic material is also extracted from the samples, which can be tested and tracked to monitor PEDV spread,” a release from the university says.
According to the university, samples including swine fecal swabs, saliva, serum, feed and fecal, intestinal and lung tissues, can be tested via a multiplex assay which identifies the presence of not just PEDV, but also transmissible gastroenteritis (TEG)—a virus that has existed among U.S. swine populations for some time. Pairing the tests brings the cost to less than $50.
“This is an important new disease that’s entered the U.S. and we have to try to mitigate its damage. The University of Minnesota is working diligently to help address the problem,” James Collins, DVM, PhD, director of the VDL, professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine and expert in food animal diagnostic medicine and infectious disease, says. “Agriculture is such an important part of what we do in Minnesota and thanks to preparation and the help of our partners, we were able to mobilize available resources and technology quickly to turn around a new test in just a few months.
There were 43 reported cases of PEDV in Minnesota as of Sept. 11 according to testing data by the National Animal Health Laboratory Network. Iowa had the most cases with 181.