In 2018, Swine acute diarrhea syndrome coronavirus (SADS-CoV), related to the bat coronavirus HKU2, was associated with severe outbreaks of diarrhea with high mortality rates in pigs in China. Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) and porcine delta coronavirus (PDCoV) are closely related to SADS-CoV, according to the Swine Health Information Center (SHIC) newsletter.
Following devastating outbreaks of PEDV and PDCoV in the U.S., the swine industry was concerned with a potential outbreak of SADS-CoV. If SADS-CoV were to enter the U.S. the industry needs to be prepared to implement control strategies to mitigate the disease’s impact on pork producers, the article says. To do so, SHIC is supporting the development of rapid diagnostic tools for timely detection of SADS-CoV nucleic acid and/or antigens in clinical samples.
SHIC says that a diagnostic assay capable of quickly detecting the pathogens is one of the first tools to combat emerging infectious disease. This includes a real-time multiplex PCR test for SADS-CoV, PEDV and PDCoV, as well as development of antibody reagents for the virus. The release notes that in a report published in January 2020, Diego Diel, associate professor and director of the virology laboratory at Cornell University, said that the project to develop these tools is on track and good progress is being made. Preliminary qPCR validation has been completed and polyclonal antibodies specific for SADS-CoV proteins are now available. Though the reagents still need to be validated, their availability will allow proactive interventions by the swine industry should SADS-CoV enter the U.S., the newsletter says.
Successful completion of the study will result in a diagnostic tool set to detect SADS-CoV in clinical samples. The availability of a multiplex real-time PCR for SADS-CoV, PEDV and PDCoV will allow precise and rapid diagnosis of specific SEC associated with outbreaks of enteric disease in pigs, the article says. The antibodies that are developed will then allow the development of a serological assay as well as antigen detection assays for SADS-CoV sero-surveillance for the direct detection of the virus.