The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is informing pork producers and veterinarians that a new coronavirus has been detected in pig fecal samples from four different swine farms in Ohio. Tests have been confirmed by Dr. Yan Zhang, a virologist from ODA’s Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (ADDL) . The virus cannot spread to humans or other species and poses no risk to food safety.
The farms from which the samples were taken experienced outbreaks of a diarrheal disease in sows and piglets in January and early February of 2014. The clinical signs of the disease were similar to that of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) and transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE), which are both caused by coronaviruses, says ODA.
"Electronmicropy of fecal samples from the four farms showed the presence of coronavirus-like viral particles. In one of the four farms, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for TGE viruses and PED viruses currently circulating in the U.S. were negative, but all 10 samples were positive for a new virus. PED and the new virus were detected in fecal samples from the other three farms," says ODA. "Sequence analysis of the new coronavirus shows that it is a deltacoronavirus, distinct from PED and TGE viruses. The new virus has been designated as Swine DeltaCoronavirus (SDCV). This virus is closely related to a coronavirus which was detected in Hong Kong in 2012."
Further study is needed to confirm whether or not this virus is the cause of diarrheal disease in affected pigs, says ODA.