Seneca Valley Virus Ongoing Research Priorities

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Don Wick


Dr. Lisa Becton, Director Swine Health Information & Research, National Pork Board




Don Wick:  00:01  From the Pork Checkoff in Des Moines Iowa it’s Pork Pod! Pork Pod, a  look at the hot topics in today’s pork industry. The Pork Checkoff is working for you through various forms of research, promotion and consumer information projects. This is Don Wick speaking on behalf of the Pork Checkoff. Today our guest is Dr. Lisa Becton who is the Director of Swine Health Information and Research. Our focused today, Seneca Valley Virus. Dr. Becton, can you give us a look at what’s the incidence level been like this this past summer.

Dr. Lisa Becton:  00:32    You know we’ve seen and heard of an increase in cases both from a diagnostic laboratory standpoint as well as visiting with several state veterinarians that are seeing an increase incidence in their states. And so it is presenting a challenge really from the marketing side both in sow slaughterer channels as well as market hog channels and so that is something of concern that we’re continuing to monitor yet this year.

Don Wick:  01:00 How do you mean how is it impacting those marketing terms?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  01:03 Well it impacts it because Seneca Valley Virus looks very similar to foot in mouth disease. And so when you have animals that may arrive at a plant or at a slaughter facility that have vesicles or blisters it’s imperative that people investigate those as a foreign animal disease really essentially to rule out FADs . And so that’s the critical part. You know Seneca Valley Virus is not an impact necessarily for pigs here domestically but the biggest threat and the biggest concern is that it looks like FMD and we don’t want to miss you know being able to diagnose that if that ever should enter this country.

Don Wick:  01:43  So are there some things that producers can doing first of all to protect themselves from Seneca Valley?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  01:50  Definitely there are a lot of things that they can do really. The first one is to continue to have daily observations of your pigs look for animals that may be lame or have blisters and if they do see those call their veterinarian immediately to make sure that they can investigate and determine what’s going on in that herd. But other things basic biosecurity steps can really come into play. Again you know washing facilities and loadout Chute’s also making sure that if you go to a packing site or to call depot to make sure you wash and disinfect trailers before they come back onto the farm. But cleaning, disinfecting of equipment is all sound procedures not just for Seneca Valley but for a lot of other things as well.

Don Wick:  02:37  Is it transmitted animal to animal or what’s the way this disease is transmitted?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  02:43  Sure there’s been some research initially done by the swine Health Information Center. And we do know that there can be pig to pig transmission especially through some of the vesicles that that pigs get and if those rupture and it’s contact with those fluids. There’s still a lot of things that we’re trying to figure out with this virus so other modes of transmission we suspect but aren’t 100 percent known but pig to pig contact is definitely one of the ways that we suspect that this virus is moving around.

Don Wick:  03:13  Is  there any ongoing research on the disease or anything?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  03:16  There is currently, again the Swine Health Information Center has done a lot of the initial research on this particular virus. We’ve had discussions within the National Pork Board Swine Health Committee about continuing to do some research because there are some some urgent questions that need to be answered. So for example, we don’t have an ELISA test, an antibody test for Seneca Valley Virus. And so that’s one of the things that we’re really trying to get. So we can tell if pigs are positive or negative in a quick manner. The other one is to really look at what is the timing of lesion development. Because a lot of times people aren’t seeing lesions at the farm but for some reason or another animals may show up at a packing facility with lesions. And so we’re trying to understand when those lesions develop. How long does it take?

Dr. Lisa Becton:  04:09  And so that’s going to be another research push yet for this year. You know really it’s a lot of focus on some basic biosecurity procedures even though we’re still learning about this virus it’s still very important to look at what we can do as far as cleaning and disinfection between groups, between barns and even if you’re using trailers and tractors to go to packing and other farms make sure that you bring those back clean to the farm. So we’re not spreading it around necessarily.

Don Wick:  04:41  Dr. Lisa Becton from the Pork Checkoff. Thank you for listening to this edition of Pork Pod. For more information on this topic or the Pork Checkoff itself, visit