Pipestone Receives Grant to Combat Swine Viruses in Contaminated Feed

( National Pork Board and the Pork Checkoff )

Pipestone Applied Research is working to halt the spread of deadly and costly swine viruses in animal feed by adding mitigants, additives that deactivate deadly and costly swine viruses, directly to animal feed. They’ve recently been awarded a Rapid Outcomes from Agricultural Research (ROAR) grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance this area of science.

“Pipestone Applied Research’s initiative to provide production-driven research to producers is already generating promising research for famers and the pork industry,” said Scott Dee, research director at Pipestone Applied Research. “FFAR’s ROAR grant enables us to test additional mitigants in feed, which we are finding have a significant impact on reducing the spread of viruses. This breakthrough has the potential to improve animal welfare and ultimately lessen the financial sting of these devastating diseases.”

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus and Seneca Valley A (SVA) can spread through contaminated animal feed, making it even more difficult for producers to protect their herds from these viruses. Pipestone’s research can reduce the spread of these viruses and may be relevant to preventing the introduction of other viruses, such as African swine fever (ASF). 
The research team is testing 10 commercially available disease mitigants, or feed additives, to assess whether these mitigants can deactivate PRRS, PED and SVA. The mitigants are added to feed containing the viruses and then fed to pigs in a commercial setting, to replicate on-farm conditions, although none of these animals enter the food supply, a FFAR release said.
“This research is a significant breakthrough in stemming the spread of deadly viruses in contaminated feed. It could revolutionize the way we control animal viruses, protecting pigs from deadly illness and saving pork producers from millions in annual financial losses,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey. “The added benefit of this research is that it might also be applicable to other viruses, such as African swine fever.” 
Pipestone researchers and collaborators are working on plans for a second phase of this research to identify mitigants that could potentially deactivate ASF, a virus that is easy to transmit and does not have a vaccine or cure. 

Recent research has shown that ASF can cross the ocean in contaminated feed ingredients. The second phase of the project, also funded by FFAR, will test the mitigants’ ability to deactivate the ASF virus in a biocontainment facility at Kansas State University.
FFAR’s ROAR program rapidly funds research and outreach in response to emerging or unanticipated threats to the nation’s food supply or agricultural systems. This ROAR grant is co-funded by ADM Animal Nutrition, Anitox, Kemin Industries, PMI Nutrition Additives and Swine Health Information Center.

More from Farm Journal's PORK:


Can Feed Additives Reduce Viral Contamination of Feed?


Lessons Learned From PEDV Could Keep ASF Out of the U.S.

Never Surrender: Scott Dee Goes To Battle To Protect U.S. Swine Herd