SHIC-Funded Research Helps Compare Pathogen Detection Methods in Feed

Interest in feed biosecurity has been increasing. Recent experimental evidence confirmed African swine fever virus (ASFV), PEDV, Senecavirus A (SVA), and foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) can be transmitted through contaminated feed, providing an avenue for introduction to susceptible pigs via ingestion. One way of reducing the risk of pathogen transmission through feed is to test feed ingredients and feed before they are introduced onto farms and fed to pigs. This would only be possible if sampling and nucleic acid extraction methods would allow efficient detection of pathogens in feed. In a study funded by the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC), principal investigator Dr. Diego Diel, Cornell University, and colleagues focused on comparing the performance of three commercially available nucleic acid extraction kits (CORE, IndiMag, MVP II). Results show the CORE extraction kit outperformed the other two kits evaluated.

These kits were tested on samples spiked with porcine reproductive and respiratory virus (PRRSV), SVA, and PEDV. Feed samples were previously collected as part of a transportation study with PCR testing done in another VDL but offered to this project for further collaboration on adding to PCR extraction comparisons. Overall samples extracted with the CORE kit presented lower Ct value (for PRRSV and SVA) and a higher sensitivity when compared to samples extracted with MVPII or the IndiMag. One of the key issues that remains to be further addressed in future studies is the sampling method to be used for large volumes of feed or feed ingredients.

This initial comparison involved the direct contrast among three extraction methods performed at Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center (MagMax CORE, IndiMag and MVP II). This study was conducted with 28 sample supernatants that had been previously collected and tested for PRRSV, SVA, and PEDV.

SHIC, launched by the National Pork Board in 2015 solely with Pork Checkoff funding, continues to focus efforts on prevention, preparedness, and response to novel and emerging swine disease for the benefit of US swine health. As a conduit of information and research, SHIC encourages sharing of its publications and research. Forward, reprint, and quote SHIC material freely. SHIC is funded by America’s pork producers to fulfill its mission to protect and enhance the health of the US swine herd. For more information, visit or contact Dr. Sundberg at