Study Finds Animal Feed Carrying Deadly Pig VirusFri, 15 Aug 2014 16:45:36 CDT
Researchers think they are one step closer in finding what has caused of a deadly pig virus to kill more than eight million pigs in the US. Reuters reports that infected feed may be to blame. In a study, feed was collected by researchers at three different hogs farms in Iowa and Minnesota that had outbreaks of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) and had received feed from the same source. The feed was fed to five piglets in a experiment at South Dakota State University and all piglets became infected with the virus. Piglets that were not fed the feed did not become infected.
The lead author of the study and Director of Research for Pipestone Veterinary Clinic in Minnesota Scott Dee told Reuters that this study validated that the virus was in the feed. But the study didn't find how feed became infected with PEDv. There are many speculations that the virus have come from feed ingredients contaminated with the virus or it became contaminated in other ways.
With this latest information researchers continue to look for ways to control outbreaks. National Swine Board Vice President of Science and Technology Paul Sundberg said this latest development shows that farmers ask feed suppliers about their bio-security practices being used to prevent contamination. The next step in the investigative process will be a thorough review of the feed handling system from how feed is handled, mixed, and delivered.
PEDv has killed 13 percent of the nation's swine herd since the virus emerged last year, which has lead to record pork prices for consumers. The US Department of Agriculture forecasts prices will increase 3.5 percent this year.
These latest findings were published in the BMC Veterinary Research journal this month.
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