October 2014

Associate Photo
Michael Foti
Director, Phibro Animal Health Canada

National Hog Farmer magazine devoted nearly its entire March 2014 issue to the topic of PEDv. Anyone with a passion for the Pork Production industry is aware of this tragic situation. I highly recommend reading the cover story “Diary of a PEDv Outbreak” in order to grasp the full impact of the challenge.

Dr. Kent Schwartz and the team at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory (ISU VDL) have noticed some interesting "findings" involving PEDv. It appears that in some cases, the pigs may not only be challenged by PEDv. They may also be facing diarrhea-causing bacteria (such as E. coli and Salmonella choleraesuis), which have been isolated from the gut tissue samples submitted to ISU VDL. It is here that we believe feed medication strategies may be able to play a significant role in this difficult battle.

Please give the following article based on our discussion with Dr. Schwartz a few moments of your time to learn about his insights toward PEDv. For additional information, please feel free to contact me by e-mail, or by phone. To discuss further with a member of the technical service team, please contact them at PhibroPro.ca/contact/tech-service.


PEDv and Bacterial Secondary Infections

Porcine Endemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) may not be the only pathogen baby pigs must face. Additional challenges presented by diarrhea-causing bacteria may also decrease their likelihood of survival.

Dr. Kent Schwartz

Dr. Kent Schwartz of the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (ISU VDL) shared that, "A common time for PEDv (and the other additive enteric insults) to occur is in the immediate post-weaning period. Loss of lactational immunity, commingling, exposure to more bacteria and viruses, and the changes in diet, environment and social structure all influence the gut flora and health of the gut and animal." Dr. Schwartz went on to say, “It is not unusual for bacterial infections to be clinically expressed with greater severity in pigs infected with PEDv (or TGEv or rotavirus). This is particularly true in the post-weaning period (nursery phase). At the ISU VDL, it is not unusual to isolate either Salmonella and/or hemolytic E. coli from pigs, particularly from those with viral (e.g., PEDv, TGEv, rotavirus) infections. The clinical impact of these bacterial infections will vary between farms, flows and age groups. The clinical impact ranges from no observed effect to moderate diarrhea to severe diarrhea with high mortality. Bacterial co-infections are a very real risk during the nursery period and will likely become more of a risk as PEDv becomes endemic. The strategic and timely use of antimicrobials as preventatives will be warranted on those farms and flows that have a history of PEDv infection and concurrent bacterial disease.”

Can feed-grade medication help control and treat secondary infections in the face of a PEDv outbreak? 

The use and recommendation for an antibiotic to be administered as a part of the protocols in the feed by veterinarians is a good risk-management tool and a good consideration for animal well-being. This is based on a very recent study conducted at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The survey was of 3984 swine enteric cases summarized from February 2012 through January 2014. Results indicate that in nursery pigs 3 to 8 weeks of age, positive for TGEv and/or PEDv, 68 of 179 or 38% had hemolytic E. coli. The rate of Salmonella spp. concurrent infection in this age group was 15%. 

Table 1 below from the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory 2013 annual report shows the susceptibility pattern for various swine pathogens and antibiotics.

Table 1

Click here to view the full size chart.
(Taken from ISU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Annual Report, 2013)



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