Genome Alberta Attacks PED Head On

Jamie JohansenAg Group, Animal Health, Disease, Swine

GenomeAlbertaLogo-500x310Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) first struck the U.S. swine industry in April 2013 and then hit Canada in January 2014. 8 million pigs of died in the U.S. and over 70 cases reported in Canada.

“A Canadian effort has been launched to understand and stop the disease to protect the young pigs and to aid the pig industry in North America.”

Genome Alberta saw a way for genomics to be used to respond to the threat and decided to put together a plan and find the necessary funding. It wasn’t an easy challenge for us to take on with limited budget and resources, but it was worth it because the resulting collaboration is good news for PEDv research and for the pork industry.

The funding group we put together consists of Genome Alberta, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Genome Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ontario Genomics Institute, and Genome Quebec.

With us taking the lead we put together the criteria for a research funding competition and put out the call. There was a great deal of interest from the research community and an international team of peer reviewers went through the applications and made their recommendations.

Three successful projects are the results of this funding:
– Development of a new generation of modified live virus vaccine for PEDv using reverse genetics system (led by VIDO-Intervac at the University of Saskatchewan)
– Enhanced molecular diagnosis and validating genetic resistance to PEDv in pigs (led by the University of Saskatchewan and the National Centres for Animal Disease)
– The use of new molecules in association with real time-qPCR assays to discriminate infectious from non-infectious porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) particles. (led by Faculté de médecine vétérinaire (FMV), Université de Montréal)

You can find the complete story on Genome Alberta’s project here.