Evaluation of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus transmission and the immune response in growing pigs

Kimberly Crawford, Kelly Lager*, Laura Miller, Tanja Opriessnig, Priscilla Gerber, Richard Hesse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinical disease associated with porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection in naïve pigs is well chronicled; however, information on endemic PEDV infection is limited. To characterize chronic PEDV infection, the duration of infectious virus shedding and development of protective immunity was determined. On Day 0 (D0), a growing pig was challenged with PEDV and 13 contacts were commingled. On D7, 9 contact pigs (principal virus group (PG)), were selected, moved to a separate room and commingled with one sentinel pig (S1). This process was repeated weekly with S2, S3 and S4. The PG was PEDV-positive by PCR from D3-11, with some pigs intermittently positive to D42. Pigs S1 and S2 were PEDV-positive within 24 hours of commingling. Antibodies were detected in all PG by D21 and by 7 days post-contact in S1 and S2. Pigs S3 and S4 were PCR and antibody negative following commingling. To evaluate protective immunity, 5 naïve pigs (N) and the PG were challenged (N/C, PG/C) with homologous virus on D49. All N/C pigs were PEDV PCR-positive by D52 with detection out to D62 in 3/5 N/C pigs. All PG/C pigs were PEDV PCR-negative post-challenge. By D63, all N/C seroconverted. Although PEDV RNA was demonstrated in pigs after primary infection until D42, infectious PEDV capable of horizontal transmission to naïve pigs was only shed 14-16 days after infection to age-matched pigs. Homologous re-challenge 49 days post initial PEDV exposure did not result in re-infection of the pigs. This demonstrates potential for an effective PEDV vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Research
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2015


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