Zoetis selects PEDV research grant recipients

Officials will evaluate benefits of multiple vaccination strategies.

Zoetis has awarded research grants to Suidae Health & Production and to Iowa State University to discover solutions that can help improve control of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) in breeding and farrowing herds.

"We were interested in proposals that help discover novel approaches for optimizing the immune response of sows and gilts to help control PEDV," said Dr. Steve Sornsen, senior director of Veterinary Business Solutions at Zoetis. "We're pleased to collaborate with well-experienced veterinarians representing academic and production interests. The outcome of these projects should provide insights into new PEDV control methods that can be incorporated into current production systems for the industry."

The two proposals were selected by a cross-functional group of Zoetis colleagues from a group of eight finalists. Both projects are expected to be completed in 2015.

Suidae Health & Production, a swine veterinary practice with three locations in Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, will use its $98,000 grant to study the efficacy of vaccination in boosting the immune response to PEDV in both naive sows and previously exposed sows. Results will be compared to naive sows that receive a placebo.

The $59,000 grant awarded to Iowa State extends the partnership between school researchers and Zoetis on multiple projects related to PEDV management.

"Losses in breeding herds chronically affected by PEDV can be devastating," said Dr. Derald Holtkamp, an assistant professor at Iowa State. "The source of the problem in these chronically affected herds appears to be an imbalance between immunity passed onto the piglets and the viral load of PEDV in the environment."

University researchers will measure the effectiveness of the conditionally licensed PEDV vaccine* from Zoetis in helping to reduce PEDV incidence on chronically affected breeding farms by studying the effect of the killed vaccine on immunological parameters in terms of both sow and colostral immunity.

"Our goal is to then determine if we can measure and predict PEDV immunity and if that immunity improves productivity in a chronically affected breeding herd," added Dr. Chris Rademacher, swine extension veterinarian at Iowa State.

*This product license is conditional. Efficacy and potency studies are in progress.

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