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Strict biosecurity and management at farm level are the most effective measures to prevent porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED)

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has issued a technical information sheet on the infection with porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) outlining the epidemiological observations, prevention and control methods and research done to date on the disease.

Paris, 9 October 2014
– In response to recommendations arising from the World Assembly of delegates to the 82nd General Session held earlier this year, the OIE convened a high level scientific ad hoc Group of international experts , concerning the global occurrence of PEDv, which was subsequently endorsed by the OIE Scientific Commission on Animal Diseases at their meeting in September. The ad hoc Group, exchanged views on the current global occurrence of PEDv, the most recent scientific findings, and possible research priorities. Their conclusions were reflected in a technical information sheet prepared to inform the global community.

PED is a contagious viral disease of pigs caused by a coronavirus and clinically similar to other forms of porcine gastroenteritis. In endemic countries, the impact is low. However PED can cause high morbidity and mortality in populations newly exposed to the virus, and hence, results in potentially significant economic losses. There have been increased occurrences described in newly infected countries since 2011, with a rise in the number of cases in 2013 and 2014, notably, in the USA, in Canada, Japan, Mexico and the Chinese Taipei.

The experts determined that the transmission of PEDv can occur directly through ingestion of virus contaminated faeces or indirectly through faeces contaminated trucks, personnel, equipment or other faeces contaminated materials such as feed. Pig blood products such as spray dried plasma incorporated into swine rations have been suspected in investigations conducted in some countries. However, the position of the ad hoc Group endorsed by the Scientific Commission is that such products are not a likely source of infection provided that good manufacturing practices for animal ration formulation and production protocols for spray dried plasma are followed.

In all situations, strict biosecurity is the most effective measure to prevent the introduction and spread of the virus.

PED is not a zoonosis and does not pose a risk to human health or to food safety.
As an emerging disease with significant morbidity and mortality there is a mandatory reporting obligation of Member Countries to the OIE .

The OIE will continue to regularly update and provide guidance to its 180 Member Countries and the public to support science based actions for controlling and preventing the disease.

Consult the OIE Technical information sheet on PED.

The Report of the Scientific Commission for Animal Diseases will be issued on the OIE’s website, under the header ‘International Standards’, in the coming weeks. It will also include the report of the meeting of the ad hoc Group on PEDv as an appendix.