THE Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) announced Feb. 11 that a new coronavirus was detected in pig fecal samples from four different Ohio swine farms by Dr. Yan Zhang, a virologist from the ODA Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.
The virus cannot spread to humans or other species and poses no risk to food safety, ODA said.
The farms from which the samples were taken experienced outbreaks of a diarrheal disease in sows and piglets in January and early February. The clinical signs of the disease were similar to those of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), which are both caused by coronaviruses, ODA said.
Electronmicropy of fecal samples from the four farms showed the presence of coronavirus-like viral particles. In one of the four farms, polymerase chain reaction tests for TGE and PEDV currently circulating in the U.S. were negative, but all 10 samples were positive for a new virus, ODA said, noting that PEDV and the new virus were detected in fecal samples from the other three farms.
Sequence analysis of the new coronavirus shows that it is a deltacoronavirus, distinct from PEDV and TGE viruses, and the new virus has been designated as swine deltacoronavirus (SDCV), ODA said. SDCV is closely related to a coronavirus that was detected in Hong Kong in 2012.
ODA said further study is needed to confirm whether or not this virus is the cause of diarrheal disease in affected pigs.