Protect swine herds from PED with proper biosecurity protocols

Washing, disinfection and drying of transportation vehicles returning from processing plants is highly suggested.

With the recent outbreak of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) producers need to be conscious of their biosecurity protocols and methods. Strict biosecurity procedures are the first line of defense when protecting your swine herd from this disease that is new to the United States. Guidelines should be in place for cleaning and disinfection of transportation vessels and the admittance of guests to the production site.

At this time no route of transmission between farms has been identified for PED in the United States. However, it is important to know that PED is spread via the oral-fecal route and can been traced to pigs, trucks and trailers, boots, clothing and fomites. Therefore, reinforced biosecurity protocols including transportation biosecurity is of upmost importance. Michigan State University Extension recommends implementing protocols for washing, disinfecting and drying all trucks and trailers returning from processing plants or buying stations to help protect swine sites from contamination.

Proper cleaning of trucks and trailers is necessary to maximize your protection level from disease. The first step in the line of defense of PED is to wash your truck and trailer away from your swine site. When power washing your trailer, it is important that removal of all organic matter on the trailer is completed. This process helps to remove bacteria, viruses, molds and parasites that are a result of the last group of animals in that area. Using a soap product such as Biosolve will help aid in the ease of cleaning and work to destroy pathogens. Because PED is spread by pigs’ consumed fecal matter from infected animals, any organic matter left in the trailer has potential to spread virus. As a trailer is washed it is important to completely breakdown the trailer. Any movable gates or ramps should be examined after washing to insure that the entire area has been washed. All equipment, sorting boards, rattle paddles, and the undercarriage and tire of the truck should also be washed, disinfected and dried. Other traffic areas of the truck should also be cleaned, including the cab of the truck, floor mats, floor boards and driver boots. Washing hands prior to entering the clean cab is also needed.

When choosing your disinfectant it is important to select one that is effective against PED. It can be assumed that if the product is successful in inactivating the coronavirus TGE, it will be effective in disabling PED, which has a similar makeup. Diagnostic notes from A. Pospischil in the Journal of Animal Health and Production include a list of virucidal disinfectants that can be used during an outbreak of PED, these include: Tex-Trol, 1 Stroke Environ, Virkon S and Clorox Bleach. Synergize has also been found to be a disinfectant applicable to PED outbreaks, however this is has not been confirmed in scientific journal publications. It is also important to note that when using an acidic detergent, you should avoid chlorinated disinfectants as a reaction may occur.

The third area when discussing proper cleaning of transportation vehicles is allowing for either dry time of the vessel or providing forced heated air to help raise the temperature of the vessel and destroy the virus. The best method in to control the PED virus through trailer drying is to bake the trailer by raising the temperature inside the trailer. The Iowa Center of Pork Excellence suggests that the trailer be heated to above 150 degrees for a minimum of 10 minutes in order to have effectively destroyed the PED virus. Although not as effective as baking the trailer, allowing the vessel to completely dry also is a proactive biosecurity protocol when trying to eliminate the spread of PED to your facility. Raising the end of the trailer so that all water runs out of the trailer and allowing for air flow throughout the trailer are all practices that can assist with drying time. MSU Extension also suggests extending the time that the vessel sits empty and away from pigs to help inactivate the virus on a cleaned and disinfected trailer.

If you suspect an outbreak of PED or see clinical signs of TGE it is important to contact your veterinarian right away. Although there is no treatment for this virus, proper diagnostics and communication with other pork producers is necessary to help stop the spread of this virus. For information and questions regarding the PED virus please contact MSU Extension Swine Veterinarian Madonna Benjamin at or Extension Educator Beth Ferry at

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