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Research Indicates Porcine Morbillivirus Presents Minimal Risk to U.S. Swine

A Swine Health Information Center funded investigation has determined porcine morbillivirus presents an insignificant risk to the U.S. swine herd. The identification by the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Lab of porcine morbillivirus in fetal tissues collected from six litters originating on a farm in Mexico in the spring of 2020 prompted an investigation to determine if the virus was present in the U.S. swine population.

Swine Health Information Center Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says the goal of the follow-up investigation was to determine whether this pathogen presented an emerging disease threat to the U.S. swine herd.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center :

Iowa State Veterinary Diagnostic Lab did the work for us and what they did was take banked samples that were submitted to Iowa State over the last couple of years and looked for clinical signs that would be consistent with those that were seen in that morbillivirus identification in the farm in Mexico.

They took banked samples and looked at the submissions and what was going on with those submissions and then looked for morbillivirus in those case compatible samples.
The results were that they didn't find morbillivirus in any of those tissues that they looked at.That's good news. It illustrates that morbillivirus in the swine herd for the U.S. at least is probably not widespread.

It's probably a pathogen that takes advantage of situations that may give it the opportunity to infect and reproduce but it's probably not a primary pathogen. That's one of the things that the center tries to do, is figure out if we're having emerging issues or if the things we're finding are one off and something that we can set aside.

Dr. Sundberg says, while a negative result may not sound too exciting, it's safe to say morbillivirus is probably not an emerging disease within the U.S. pork industry.

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