The USDA has confirmed that porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has been identified in the United States for the first time, through testing at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory. This is not a new virus, nor is it a regulatory/reportable disease. Since PEDV is widespread in many countries, it is not a trade-restricting disease, but rather a production-related disease. PEDV may appear clinically to be the same as transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) virus with acute diarrhea. This PEDV is not zoonotic and poses no risk to the meat industry. An outbreak, however, can be devastating in swine production as well as research facilities with death rates of 30-100 percent in young pigs. PEDV spreads mostly by ingestion of contaminated feces. The most common sources of infected feces are pigs, trucks, boots, clothing, or other inanimate objects such as vehicles, trailers, or transfer equipment. Cleaning, disinfection, and drying of contaminated surfaces are effective measures to prevent PEDV contamination. PEDV is susceptible to many common disinfectants such as Clorox, virkon-s, 1 stroke, tek-trol and others. Producers as well as end users need to develop and maintain strict biosecurity protocols in order to prevent the virus from affecting domestic swine used in biomedical research. We have been working with our veterinarian and government sources to protect our herd via monitoring and the continual upgrading of our biosecurity program.
Please note that ABI is free of PEDV due to a very strict biosecurity plan which has been in place since October 2013. A strict quarantine program exists where no replacement animals, animal based feed products, commercial or agricultural vehicles, visitors, or any other potential vectors, etc. can enter the ABI production facility. In order to expand our biosecurity efforts, we are requesting that all of our clients do two things:
First, we would like to ask that you keep your animal transfer equipment and animal receiving areas clean and sanitized at all times especially before and during ABI deliveries. Please be sure to keep ABI animals separated from any other swine in your facility. Please take biosecurity measures of your own to make sure our animals remain separated from swine or other contaminants from other vendor’s animals in your facility that may be carrying the virus.
Second, we would like to ask you and your investigators and colleagues to please consider ordering castrated males from ABI whenever possible in place of females. Our females are in high demand for studies that strictly require the use of animals for studies that involve the female anatomy or physiology. ABI maintains a closed herd, which requires us to raise our own female replacements and we therefore must keep a rather large pool of genetically superior and outbred gilts for maintenance of the breeding herd. We therefore ask your researchers to use castrated males whenever possible. Clients can be assured that there is little difference in behavior, growth or physiological function between castrated males and females other than the female reproductive system. All males are castrated at three days of age and are well healed and adapted before they are sold, even as young animals, to clients.
We greatly appreciate your assistance with this important matter and wish to let you know that we greatly appreciate your business.
Dr. Gary Brubaker, B.S., M.S., Ph.D.