SHIC Funding Brings Tools for Detection of SADS-CoV Closer to Completion

Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), related to the bat coronavirus HKU2, was associated with severe outbreaks of diarrhea with high mortality rates in pigs in China in 2018. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and porcine delta coronavirus (PDCoV) are closely related to SADS-CoV. After PEDV and PDCoV were diagnosed in the US with devastating consequences, the swine industry saw the emergence of SADS-CoV in Asia as a potential concern. Should SADS-CoV be introduced into the US as PEDV and PDCoV were, the industry must be prepared to rapidly implement adequate control strategies to mitigate the impact of the disease to pork producers. The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) is supporting development of rapid diagnostic tools for the timely detection of swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV) nucleic acid and/or antigens in clinical samples.

One of the first tools to combat emerging infectious disease agents is a diagnostic assay capable of rapidly detecting such pathogens. This includes a real-time multiplex PCR for SADs-CoV, PEDV, and PDCoV as well as development of antibody reagents for the virus. In a report published in January 2020, researcher Dr. Diego Diel of Cornell University said the project to develop these tools is on track with good progress on both objectives. Preliminary qPCR validation has been completed and polyclonal antibodies specific for the SADS-CoV proteins are now available. While the reagents need to be validated, their availability will allow proactive interventions by the swine industry should SADS-CoV ever enter the US.

Successful completion of the study will result in a diagnostic tool set to detect SADS-CoV in clinical samples. Availability of a multiplex real-time PCR for SADS-CoV, PEDV and PDCoV will allow precise and rapid diagnosis of specific SEC associated with outbreaks of enteric disease in pigs. Antibodies developed will allow the development of serological assays as well as antigen detection assays for SADS-CoV serosurveillance or for the direct detection of the virus.

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 http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Paul Sundberg at psundberg@swinehealth.org.