Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is difficult to control and causes high death loss in suckling pigs less than two weeks old, resulting in significant financial loss to all sectors of the swine industry.
PEDv spreads quickly and easily. The primary route of infection is through direct contact with infected pigs or from the manure of infected pigs. Other routes of infection responsible for spreading the virus may be contaminated transport vehicles, farm equipment and farm workers and visitors, according to a recent research report by the North American Spray Dried Blood & Plasma Producers Assn. (NASDBPP).
Industry leaders are actively discussing and reviewing data concerning the role of feed and feed ingredients in the spread of PEDv. Speculation that PEDv is spread by feed has led to implementation of costly biosecurity programs, often with little controlled research or data supporting the necessity or effectiveness of the program.
NASDBPP pointed out that epidemiology is a powerful scientific tool that can be used to identify associations of exposure to health outcomes. Epidemiologic observation allows scientists to form a hypothesis and then the hypothesis can be tested in controlled experiments.
Independently, NASDBPP and the Food & Drug Administration conducted controlled experiments to test the hypothesis that spray-dried porcine plasma may contain infective PEDV. The results of these experiments support the conclusion that spray-dried porcine plasma is a safe feed ingredient.
The manufacturing process under industry standards inactivates PEDV. However, like any feed ingredient, post-processing contamination is a constant risk and may be the cause of the infective PEDV found on porcine plasma as reported by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
The recent research and study results outlined in the associated pdf file (below) demonstrate that PEDV is inactivated during commercial production of spray-dried plasma and PEDV PCR+ spray-dried porcine plasma is not a source of PEDv infectivity.
These results confirm the evidence from past research that spray-dried porcine plasma is a safe and vital feed ingredient for the global swine industry.