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article imageNew way to detect porcine epidemic diarrhea virus

By Tim Sandle     Nov 1, 2014 in Environment
Researchers have developed a new test for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. This virus has been spreading throughout the pig population within the U.S. The test differentiates the genetic material of the virus from that of other viruses.
Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) has been causing havoc since the start of 2014 throughout the U.S. pig populations, as Digital Journal has reported. The disease has resulted in the loss of animal life and it has hit the farming economy hard. The virus attacks the guts of pigs, preventing them from absorbing liquids and nutrients.
PEDv is similar to types of coronavirus. The disease is spread mainly from unsanitary conditions and it can also be spread from pig-to-pig or via farmers (the virus does not cause harm to people, but people can act as an effective vector for viral transfer.) The disease is believed to have its origins in China, and it has spread across countries and within mainly due to lax biosecurity measures.
To help detect the disease early and to allow for the isolation of infected pigs, Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory researchers, based at South Dakota State University, have released a new diagnostic test to accurately differentiate PEDv genetic material from that of other viruses. The test is described as a gel-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method. This method takes tiny fragments of viral genetic material and accelerates it up to produce sufficient material to be detected through the use of specific bio-markers.
Once a pig is exposed to the virus it develops antibodies. The basis of the test is that it detects the animal's immune response to PEDv. The researchers successfully created monoclonal antibody reagents used to detect PEDv in tissues from infected animals. Having set up the method, the science group hope to launch a faster, more sensitive test was commercially by early next year.
More about Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, Pigs, Virus, PEDV, Farms
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