Feed additives may help stop the spread of viral diseases in pigs

Initial results of a study conducted by Pipestone Applied Research, finds that five commercially available feed additives may stop the spread of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) and Seneca Valley A (SVA) through contaminated feed. Dr. Scott Dee, Research Director at Pipestone Applied Research, presented the results of the first phase of this study during the National Pork Industry Conference held in the Wisconsin Dells, 7-10 July 2019.

The study, funded by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) tested whether specific feed additives, or mitigants, can deactivate the causative viruses and reduce the spread of disease. Researchers introduced the viruses into animal feed and then individually added five mitigants to the contaminated animal feed. The research team tested the pigs at day 6 and day 15 for the presence of the three viruses and evaluated the animals for signs of disease. Despite the presence of PRRS, PED and SVA viruses in the feed, the mitigants protected almost all animals from becoming positive for infection and significantly reduced the number of animals that developed signs of disease.

Later this year, a second phase of the research will test five additional mitigants to assess their effectiveness in protecting swine herds from PRRS, PED and SVA. A separate FFAR-funded grant at Kansas State University will build on this research to test whether the mitigants can be added to feed to protect against African swine fever.

“Pipestone Applied Research is excited to collaborate with FFAR. We are working to deliver a solution to the risk of the domestic and transboundary spread of viruses in feed,” said Dee.

Dee’s team received a grant through FFAR’s Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) program. The grant is being matched by ADM Animal Nutrition, Anitox, Kemin Industries, PMI Nutrition Additives and Swine Health Information Center.