Senecavirus is on the move
Senecavirus A (SVA) or Seneca Valley Virus is a virus that was initially discovered in cell culture as a contaminant in 2002, but is believed to have been in the US for at least the past 30 years based on historical viral isolates. This virus can cause lesions in the pig that are similar to Foot and Mouth Disease. Infected pigs may have blisters on their snout or hooves (particularly around the coronary bands) or they could be visually normal. In a population of pigs, you may notice increased lameness/ “dancing” sows, increased PWM or scouring piglets, fevers, lethargy, and off feed animals.
We have been seeing an increase in clinical SVA in the past month. Most cases usually occur between the spring and the fall, so we are currently in the midst of the typical SVA season. It is unknown exactly how this virus spreads, but it is believed to be transmitted on fomites, through direct contact and could potentially be spread by aerosolized virus.
Figure 1. Seneca Valley Virus Frequency (Courtesy of Dr. Bob Morrison Swine Health Monitoring Project Weekly Report: 8/16/19)
What to do if you Suspect Seneca Valley Virus (Senecavirus A):
Contact your SVC veterinarian immediately. Cancel any loads leaving the site until a full work up has been done and you have permission from the State officials. Proper paperwork will need to accompany animals for transport from infected populations to slaughter facilities.
It is important to execute proper biosecurity measures all year round. Observing a clean/dirty line or bench entry and either showering in or changing clothing and washing hands prior to entering the barns are good practices. Transportation vehicles coming back from the packing plant are often contaminated and should be cleaned and disinfected properly before re-entering a pig premise. Clear clean/dirty lines at the chute are also help-ful to keep pathogens out of the barn. Animal entries, such as gilts into a sow farm, are also a risk to the farm. These animals need to be monitored closely for any clinical signs prior to shipping them to a sow farm. Additionally, feed has been reported to contain Senecavirus A in Brazil. Using feed mitigants can help to reduce the infective pathogens in the feed.
Study Participation Alert:
Dr. Matt Sturos, a veterinary pathologist and UMN graduate student, is working on a project investigating incidence of Senecavirus A in market-weight hogs and prevalence on transport vehicles for market hogs. Dr. Sturos would like to enroll finishing sites that expect to begin marketing over the next 1-2 months. If you’d like to participate in this study, please let your SVC veterinarian know.
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