New test for pork virus

Posted Apr 18, 2014 by Tim Sandle
A virus in the U.S. has killed over 6 million pigs. Researchers have developed a new test to monitor for the disease. The hope is that improved detection can be used to slow down the rate of infection.
Mother pig and baby piglets
Mother pig and baby piglets
Scientists are of the opinion that there are at least three viruses with similar symptoms affecting pigs, two of which have entered the U.S. for the first time last year. These new viruses are: porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and delta coronavirus. This month several farms in Michiana have reported outbreaks of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. The virus can be deadly to pigs, especially non-weaned piglets. In Ohio, electronmicropy of fecal samples from the four farms showed the presence of coronavirus-like viral particles, indicating that the second virus is present in the state.
The effect of these viruses has been drive up the price of pork in the U.S., according to Nextstar Broadcasing. To address these concerns, scienitsts have developed some new diagnostic tests for the viruses. These tests examine viral DNA and are rapid and easy to apply to in the field. The tests have been developed by Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Kansas State University. By understanding what a population of pigs may have been exposed to and how high the immunity is, farmers and veterinarians can make adjustments on how they treat the virus
The tests were developed under the leadership of Dick Hesse, director of diagnostic virology and professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.