Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea
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Also Known As: Coronaviral Encephalomyelitis — Coronaviral Enteritis — Epidemic Viral Diarrhoea — Ontario Encephalitis — PED — EVD — TOO (The Other One)
Caused By: Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea Virus — PEDV — CV777
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea (PED) is a gastrointestinal disease of pigs caused by a coronavirus.
PED is very similar to the coronavirus that causes Transmissible Gastroenteritis Virus (TGE), also in pigs.
Worldwide. Transmission is purely faecal-oral.
Disease is most severe in neonatal pigs as they are more susceptible to dehydration.
Outbreaks have also been seen in fattening pigs and adults, often associated with moving and/or mixing of groups. Outbreaks may be recurrent over a period of several weeks.
Generally, mortality is very low and the disease is mild.
Gastrointestinal disease presents with watery diarrhoea, vomiting/regurgitation and anorexia. In more severe cases there may be pyrexia, mild dehydration and signs of abdominal pain.
In some cases mortality in neonatal pigs is increased and may reach up to 50% in pigs <1 week of age, but it is generally not as high as with TGE.
PED can be demonstrated by Immunofluorescence (IF) or Immunohistochemistry (IHC) applied to sections of small intestines from pigs euthanased less than 1 day after the onset of diarrhoea. This is the most sensitive, reliable and rapid method of achieving definitive diagnosis.
PED antigen can be detected via ELISA from faeces. This is useful for group disease screening.
PED antibodies can be detected serologically via IF and ELISA. High titres may persist for up to one year after infection.
On post-mortem, the small intestine is filled with yellow fluid and distended. Microscopically, exfoliation of enterocytes and villous stunting can be seen in the small intestine from 24h after infection. These changes are similar but less severe than those seen with TGE. The incubation period of PEDV is also longer than TGE: 22-36h compared to 18-24h.
Treatment is supportive by providing free access to water. Electrolyte solutions and energy supplements are recommended in piglets. Withholding feed is advisable in fattening swine.
Biosecurity can prevent introduction of virus to farms by animal and human traffic.
Deliberate transmission of PED by spreading virus contaminated faeces in with pregnant sows has been used to stimulate lactogenic immunity and shorten the disease on the farm by protecting neonatal stock. This can be a dangerous practice if sows are within 14 days of farrowing as abortions may occur. The diagnosis must be confirmed before this is attempted.
When several consecutive litters are affected, movement onto the farm should be stopped and all pigs born within a four week period should be relocated to a different site.
PED is not deemed of enough economical importance to require a vaccine.
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This article has been expert reviewed by Dr Mandy Nevel
Date reviewed: 09 September 2011
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