PEDV

Jason) We’ve been studying the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus for almost two years right now. PED is one of the few viruses that’s been known to use feed or feed ingredients as a vehicle for transmission, whether within barns, or across barns or through a feed mill. And so the importance of feed biosecurity and feed biosecurity is of extreme importance for us. And so we conducted a series of studies at K-State all of them funded by the National Pork Boards. The first study that we did we determined the minimum infectious dose of PEDV that could be carried in a feed matrix. Now it’s important to know the amount of PED that could be carried within a feed and still make pigs sick. And the really shocking finding from that study was that one gram of feces from a PED infected pig was enough to infect 500 tons of manufactured feed and then be able to make any pig that consumed that feed sick. And so, that’s a really small amount of fecal material that can infect feed. After that we’ve conducted a couple studies looking at the pellet mill to be able to reduce or mitigate PED risk and we’ve found that as long as we’re able to pellet feed at at least 130 degrees we can minimize the risk of PED transfer or minimize the risk of PED infectivity in the pigs. And that’s really important because pellet mills is a common piece of equipment found in a lot of different feed mills, specifically commercial feed mills. And so by being able to use pelleting technology they can quickly implement a mitigation strategy to help minimize again the risk of PED transfer. A lot of the work that we did was only able to happen because of the Cargill Feed Safety Research Center there that’s in our new feed mill here at K-State. And that facility is basically a four-story PSL, level two facility, where we can go in and actually inoculate feed with PED virus, but be able to have it all contained and have a decontamination program in place where we can kill that virus and basically have zero risk after the study’s done of having it accidentally transferred to any of the pigs around the area. If it was not for that facility that we have here at K-State, we would not have been able to do this research. It’s the only facility like that in the world where this research can be done. And the equipment that’s inside is very similar to that that you’d find in the commercial mill. And so it has direct application then to what we can do out in the swine industry. We’ve done some other studies where we’ve looked at feeds sequencing as a way to minimize the cross contamination risk with PED, if it’s inoculated, or if it’s introduced into a feed mill. And indeed feed sequencing, through the feed mill is an important step to be able to prevent the contamination, the cross contamination and be able to help better control, or minimize the risk of PED infected feed being transferred to the production system, such as the sow feed or the first nursery pig feeds. The subsequent studies that we’re doing right now, we’re following up on potential feed additives or chemical treatments that can be used as ways to kill the virus while it’s in the feed. We’ve really focused on that area because of the strong grain science and feed science program that we have here at Kansas State University, as well as the strong swine nutrition right here. So, marrying both programs together, also working with partners in the K-State Vet Diagnostic Lab, the Iowa State University Vet Diagnostic Lab, we’ve been able to form a really strong team on PED infectivity and its association with feed and feed ingredients.

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