AS of March 14, the Ontario Animal Health Laboratory has diagnosed swine deltacoronavirus (SDCV) in samples from six Ontario pig farms.
This pathogen was detected as a result of follow-up testing on farms with pigs that showed clinical signs of vomiting and diarrhea but that tested negative for transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE) virus and porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).
In addition, samples of porcine plasma have also tested positive for SDCV at the Ontario lab and Iowa State University. The samples submitted were from the same batch that tested positive for PEDV in February.
These are the first confirmed cases of SDCV in Canada.
SDCV was initially detected in pigs in Hong Kong in 2012. In February, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Ohio Department of Agriculture issued a press release indicating that SDCV had been detected in swine manure at four farms in Ohio. Pigs on these farms had exhibited clinical signs similar to PEDV, and three of the four farms had tested positive for PEDV as well as SDCV.
In light of the U.S. findings, the Ontario lab developed a polymerase chain reaction test for SDCV and began testing for the virus in samples from farms whose pigs showed clinical signs yet tested negative for PEDV and TGE.
SDCV infection is clinically similar to, but distinct from, PEDV and TGE. It causes diarrhea and vomiting in swine of all age groups and mortality in nursing pigs, although mortality rates appear to be lower than for PEDV.
SDCV is not a risk to human health or to other animals, nor is it a food safety risk.
SDCV can be prevented and managed in the same way as PEDV, including:
* Ensuring vigilance and strong biosecurity at the farm level;
* Making sure transporters, renderers, processors and other service providers diligently clean and disinfect, and
* Developing herd immunity to reduce clinical signs.