WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Antibody Test for Swine Virus

Sep 16, 2013

Hog producers and their veterinarians have a new tool to help fight a virus that has the potential to kill entire litters of piglets.

The antibody test for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus will help producers decide when it’s safe to transport pigs between farms.

Iowa State University’s John Johnson said the original test -- called a PCR -- could tell if a pig was infected. The new one identifies the animal’s immune response to exposure.

Credit en.mercopress.com

“If we say, well, the PCR is negative but they are antibody positive, then the producer and their veterinarian have to assess the amount of risk they’re willing to assume on moving those animals,” Johnson said.

He said producers can be confident their pigs won’t infect a new herd if both tests are negative.

PEDV has been confirmed on almost 600 farms this year in 17 states, including Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

Researchers said it is not dangerous to humans.