Updated SHIC Sapelovirus Fact Sheet Addresses Prevalence and Diagnostics

Porcine sapelovirus (PSV), an enteric picornavirus of swine, has been detected in healthy pigs as well as pigs with diarrhea, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory disease. An outbreak of polioencephalomyelitis occurred in US swine in 2016, with reported morbidity and case fatality rates of 20% and 30%, respectively. Intravaginal and intrauterine inoculation of gilts at day 30 of gestation leads to 94% fetal mortality. The role of PSV as a pathogen, and more specifically as a cause of polioencephalomyelitis, is unclear. PSV is commonly isolated from the intestinal tract of healthy swine, and it is often found with other enteric pathogens. An updated Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) Fact Sheet on PSV has been posted and includes new information on prevalence and diagnostics, as well a description of an outbreak of PSV-associated polioencephalomyelitis in the US.

PSVs, formerly known as porcine enteroviruses, are linked to cases of neurological disease, reproductive failure, pneumonia, and diarrhea dating back to the 1950s. PSV infections are often subclinical. However, PSV is also associated with gastrointestinal, neurological, reproductive, and respiratory disease. Co-infection with other enteric pathogens often occurs.

Domestic and wild swine are the only known hosts for PSV. Sapelo-like picornaviruses have been identified in pigs, bats, rodents, dogs, cats, birds, sea lions, and Tasmanian devils. Prevalence estimates vary; in the US, 32% of fecal samples from diarrheic pigs were PSV-positive.

SHIC, launched in 2015 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 psundberg@swinehealth.org.