There is field and/or experimental evidence that feed and/or ingredients may be potential vectors of African swine fever virus (ASFV) or foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) introduction. And introduction of ASFV or FMDV in a domestic feed manufacturing facility has the potential to unknowingly disseminate those viruses widely. Research is needed to determine optimal methods for decontaminating feed manufacturing facilities, especially equipment that is not designed to be disinfected. The Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) has funded a study, proposed by a group of co-investigators including Dr. Chad Paulk of Kansas State University, to evaluate methods of decontaminating feed manufacturing equipment, using Senecavirus A (SVA), porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) contamination as domestic, pathogenic surrogates for foreign animal diseases.
Previous research has been conducted to determine the minimum infectious dose of ASFV and FMDV in water and feed (Niederwerder et al. 2019 and Stenfeldt et al. 2021). Recent research has also shown that ASFV and FMDV can survive in various feed ingredients during transboundary, transoceanic shipping conditions (Dee et al., 2021 and Stenfeldt et al. 2021).
Also, field evidence suggests that ASFV can be distributed throughout the feed supply chain (Gebhardt et al., 2021), and this has been confirmed with recent research published from the Feed Safety Team at Kansas State University. Elijah et al. (2021) determined that the distribution of ASFV into the feed manufacturing environment is widespread and persists even after manufacturing additional feed batches initially free of ASFV. This is similar to what is observed with PEDV (Schumacher et al., 2017).
Because ASFV and FMDV can survive in feed during shipping, the US is rightfully concerned that a contaminated feed or ingredient will introduce ASFV or FMDV into the US swine population. Regardless of its method of entry, there is concern that infection of US pigs may result in contamination of the feed supply chain, and rapid and widespread distribution of the virus like what was seen with PEDV, because once ASFV is in a feed mill, it will remain in its environment for an extended period of time.
SHIC continues to look into all routes of entry and dissemination of emerging diseases, not just to identify these pathways, but to do something about them with research of this kind. SHIC is asking other allied feed-related groups to consider contribution to the funding of the project for the benefit of the US swine herd.
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 http://www.swinehealth.org or contact Dr. Sundberg at [email protected].