SHIC funding brings SADS-CoV detection tools closer to completion

Emerging swine coronavirus in China is closely related to PEDV and PDCoV, leading U.S. swine industry to develop rapid diagnostic tools.

January 22, 2020

2 Min Read
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In 2018, pigs in China experienced outbreaks of severe diarrhea with high mortality rates, which was associated with the emergent swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) related to the bat coronavirus HKU2, according to a post Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) executive director Paul Sundberg prepared for the American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

SHIC noted that porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) are closely related to SADS-CoV, and after PEDV and PDCoV were diagnosed in the U.S., the swine industry saw the emergence of SADS-CoV in Asia as a potential concern.

Should SADS-CoV be introduced into the U.S. as PEDV and PDCoV were, SHIC said the industry must be prepared to rapidly implement adequate control strategies to mitigate the impact of the disease on pork producers.

SHIC is supporting development of rapid diagnostic tools for the timely detection of SADS-CoV nucleic acid and/or antigens in clinical samples.

One of the first tools to combat emerging infectious disease agents is a diagnostic assay capable of rapidly detecting such pathogens, SHIC said. This includes a real-time multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay for SADs-CoV, PEDV and PDCoV as well as development of antibody reagents for the virus.

SHIC noted that in a report published in January 2020, researcher Dr. Diego Diel of Cornell University said the project to develop these tools is on track, with good progress being made on both objectives. Preliminary quantitative PCR validation has been completed, and polyclonal antibodies specific to the SADS-CoV proteins are now available. While the reagents need to be validated, SHIC said their availability will allow proactive interventions by the swine industry should SADS-CoV ever enter the U.S.

Successful completion of the study will result in a diagnostic tool set to detect SADS-CoV in clinical samples. The availability of a multiplex real-time PCR for SADS-CoV, PEDV and PDCoV will allow precise and rapid diagnosis of specific SEC associated with outbreaks of enteric disease in pigs, SHIC said, and antibodies developed will allow the development of serological assays as well as antigen detection assays for SADS-CoV sero-surveillance or for the direct detection of the virus.

Funded by America's pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the U.S. swine herd, SHIC focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness and response. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research for the benefit of swine health. Forward, reprint and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit, or contact Sundberg at [email protected].

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