SHIC Collaborates on Minimum Infectious Dose of FMD in Feed and Mitigation Strategies

The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) will collaborate directly with USDA Ag Research Service on Plum Island, USDA-APHIS, National Pork Board, and other key researchers to determine the minimum infectious dose (MID) of foot and mouth disease (FMD) virus needed to infect pigs via feed ingredients using normal feeding behaviors. Simultaneously, this project will look at the effectiveness of possible mitigants being added to the feed to help neutralize the virus. To date, no study has looked at the dose needed to infect a pig via feed, using normal feeding behaviors. And the collaborations will enable the direct use of FMD instead of having to use a surrogate. Successful completion of the project will provide critical knowledge pertaining to the risk of introduction of FMD into the US pig production system by imported feed components as well as potential mitigation of that risk.

Researchers state the overall goals of this jointly SHIC-funded project are to investigate the MID of FMD in pigs exposed to two variants of the virus through natural feeding behavior and to assess the efficacy of select feed additives (mitigants) in reducing the risk of transmission of FMD following ingestion of contaminated and treated feed. These survival and mitigation trials will be designed and performed in alignment with previous and ongoing SHIC-funded studies led by Drs. Scott Dee, Diego Diel, and Megan Niederwerder who are performing similar studies on other important transboundary disease pathogens of pigs.

Part of that research showed the potential for FMD to be transported via feed ingredients from China to the US through surviving the 37-day trip duration. This work used Seneca Valley A virus as a surrogate for FMD and suggests the ability for FMD to survive in multiple feed components including soybean meal, DDGS, lysine, choline, and vitamin D for the time necessary for transpacific passage to pig rearing regions. And past studies have shown pigs are highly susceptible to oral transfer of FMD when dosed under laboratory conditions.

Funded by America’s pork producers to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd, the Swine Health Information Center focuses its efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research for the benefit of swine health. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at [email protected].