New research is helping to contain Alberta PED outbreak

The Quality Assurance and Production Manager with Alberta Pork says research aimed at improving transport biosecurity has been key in helping gain control of a porcine epidemic diarrhoea outbreak.

12 July 2019, at 11:28am

Scientists working on behalf of Swine Innovation Porc are engaged in an effort to speed up and lower the cost of disinfecting swine transport trailers to prevent exposure to disease. In January the first of four cases of porcine epidemic diarrhoea was confirmed in Alberta.

Speaking to Farmscape, Javier Bahamon, the Quality Assurance and Production Manager with Alberta Pork, says an early finding by VIDO-InterVac that heat will kill the virus responsible for PED has been key to stopping its spread.

"We learned that the different viruses have different temperatures in order to inactivate that virus," says Bahamon. "We learned with the PED virus that if you have your trailer at 75 degrees for 15 minutes and all the surfaces of that trailer achieve that temperature, we're more than sure that the virus will be inactivated if it was present on the surface of that trailer, which itself is very indicative of what the industry is looking for.

"Now we can at least control a little bit more of that protocol, for example dealing in PED.

How has it influenced our PED outbreak? Pretty much all of the trailers that we have been using have been following these protocols.

"With data like this, telling us the specifics on it, 75 degrees for 15 minutes or 80 degrees at one minute, those are the ones that we are really looking for.

"We have set PED as a standard just because the research has shown us that it was a harder virus to inactivate by temperature treatment."

Bahamon notes that with no new cases in Alberta since mid-March, the outbreak appears to have been contained. He says one of the four affected operations is close to reaching presumed negative for PED and all four are expected to reach presumed negative sometime this fall.