Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv)

PEDv can cause illness and weight loss in adult pigs, and death in newborn piglets. Use the information below to understand more about PEDv and develop a contingency plan for dealing with it.

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What is PEDv?

Porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) is a coronavirus that infects the cells lining the small intestine of a pig, resulting in severe diarrhoea and dehydration.

In older pigs, the disease is less severe and they mostly get sick and lose weight after being infected. However, newborn piglets usually die within five days due to their lack of maternal protection.

A milder strain has been circulating in Europe since the early 1970s and low levels are present in some UK pig populations.

The disease cannot be transmitted to humans or contaminate the human food supply.

PEDv is a notifiable disease. Contact your farm vet for advice.

If you suspect PEDv in your pig unit

What are the signs of PEDv?

  • Watery diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Anorexia
  • Dehydration

How is PEDv spread?

The main source of PEDv is infected faeces, which can be spread by:

  • Pigs, people, vehicles and animals, such as birds, rodents, foxes, pets and flies
  • Equipment, contaminated bedding, feed and water
  • PEDv can also be spread through air, semen and blood

How can I prepare for PEDv?

  • Regularly review your biosecurity policy with your vet to minimise the spread of disease
  • Help employees understand that biosecurity starts before the farm
  • Sign up to the Significant Diseases Charter

PEDv contingency plan

Identify, contain and eliminate are the key elements of a contingency plan for dealing with PEDv.

It is a living document which will evolve and develop over time.

The plan focuses on the control and elimination of PEDv, but a broadly similar approach could be used to tackle other significant new and emerging diseases, such as highly pathogenic strains of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) from the US or Asia.

Download the PEDv contingency plan

Free PEDv testing

AHDB is funding testing of samples from suspect PEDv outbreaks in pigs on premises in England and Wales to either confirm or rule out whether PEDv is the cause of disease.

You must discuss the disease and testing with your vet.

In the case of a suspected or a confirmed outbreak of PEDv in England, you are legally required to report this to the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).

Samples of faeces or intestinal contents from affected pigs can be sent to APHA for testing, along with a completed submission form.

Further guidance on sampling and testing of suspect PEDv outbreaks can be found in the standard operating procedures (SOPs) below.

PEDv Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

We have produced standard operating procedures (SOPs) on behalf of the Pig Health and Welfare Council.

In the event of PEDv arriving, the SOPs outline best practice and methods of control.

In the event of PEDv entering the UK, it would be the implementation of good biosecurity and biocontainment measures that would reduce the rate of spread and enable the industry to control the outbreak.

Explore and download the SOPs below.

More PEDv resources