Porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus is thousands of times more infectious than transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) and similar coronaviruses that affect pigs, according to Dr. Peter Provis, a swine technical consultant with Elanco. Provis stressed the infectious nature of PED virus during his presentation "PEDv: Understanding the Impact on Your Farm," during the Prairie Swine Centre's series of 2014 producer meetings.
While Provis said PED virus acts much like TGE virus, it is much more infectious.
"We're starting to learn from our colleagues in the U.S. that this virus differs from TGE in a couple of respects and one respect is that it's highly infectious. For many viruses you need a certain amount of virus particles to cause disease in an animal. We're learning that with PED it doesn't take very many of these viruses, which means that if you don't get things right in terms of your biosecurity or your traffic or your procedures that a very small amount of virus can be introduced into your barn and the disease will take hold," Provis said.
Provis, who works in Canada, said when looking at work done in the U.S., veterinarians have learned that the amount of virus that's excreted by a pig with PED will be thousands and thousands of times that from TGE, Farmscape reported. Provis added that an amount of feces about the size of a pencil eraser from a piglet infected with PED contains as much virus as a ton of feces from a TGE infected pig.