In a hog herd in Minnesota, a third strain of PEDv has been identified. Dr. Paul Sundberg, director of science and technology for Pork Checkoff, said this is not a surprising development as it is not unusual for viruses of this type to evolve, “This discovery of a new strain is important, but it is not really surprising and will not change the way the pork industry deals with this disease.”
University of Minnesota Assistant Professor of Veterinary Population Medicine, Douglas Marthaler, believes it is a mutation of the original strain and at least as virulent. The reason for this mutation could be a response to increased immunity in herds, but he says the virus is always changing. So far, roughly 10-percent of U.S. hogs have been killed by PEDv in the past two years. He added this is not likely the only mutation that will occur, “It is likely we will see several more change in the virus over the next year or so.”
Sundberg says right now the spread of the virus has slowed, and he hopes that is a good sign, “The data that we have shows that so far this fall and early winter we remain at sporadic infections.” He added right now we are at a much quieter level than we were last year at this time, and he hopes this is a good trend. He also praised pork producers for taking biosecurity procedures that have also slowed the spread of the virus.