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SHIC Sponsored Research Looks for Cost-effective Ways to Mitigate Potential Risks from Feed Transmission

Proactive mitigation of high-risk pathogens in feed with feed additives could be a way for us to protect North American herds from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), as well as foreign animal disease.

Proactive mitigation of high-risk pathogens in feed with feed additives could be a way for us to protect North American herds from porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), as well as foreign animal disease. The Swine Health Information Center sponsored research to investigate feed additives with potential to function as cost-effective mitigants. Action based on scientific knowledge is within closer reach, thanks to Drs. Diego G. Diel of South Dakota State University and Scott Dee of Pipestone Applied Research. In their study, a select group of additives, though none completely inactivating viruses, did show promising efficacy against high-risk pathogens potentially in feed. Investigators envisioned and investigated potential mitigation periods prior to embarking to the US or upon arrival at the mill and worked with AFIA to select candidate mitigants.

Based on the outcome of previous feed survival studies, investigators selected highest risk combinations of viruses and ingredients for testing.

Although none of the feed additives tested completely inactivated the pathogens, reductions in viral titers on all pathogens studied were observed with mitigants containing various medium chain fatty acid blends, such as Captisure from Kemin as well as Kansas State University), organic acid mixtures (such as Activate DA from Novus) or formaldehyde plus propionic acid  (SalCURB, Kemin). These results demonstrate that specific feed additives have the potential to reduce viral contamination levels in feed. Investigators suggest that further studies to assess mitigator mechanism of action are warranted. In addition, assessing the efficacy of these mitigants in pigs following natural feed consumption of contaminated and mitigated feed in conjunction with viral load and product inclusion rate is planned or underway

Chemical mitigation of feed alone may not be able to prevent potential transmission of pathogens through feed. Storage time and importation of feed ingredients from known and trustable sources should be considered and utilized to safeguard the US swine industry from unwanted viral pathogens endemic in other regions of the world.

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.