Background: The effectiveness of biosecurity methods to mitigate the transmission of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) via farm personnel or contaminated fomites is poorly understood. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of biosecurity procedures directed at minimizing transmission via personnel following different biosecurity protocols using a controlled experimental setting. Results: PEDV RNA was detected from rectal swabs of experimentally infected (INF) and sentinel pigs by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR). Virus shedding in INF pigs peaked at 1 day post infection (dpi) and viral RNA levels remained elevated through 19 dpi. Sentinel pigs in the low biosecurity group (LB) became PEDV positive after the first movement of study personnel from the INF group. However, rectal swabs from pigs in the medium biosecurity (MB) and high biosecurity (HB) groups were negative during the 10 consecutive days of movements and remained negative through 24 days post movement (dpm) when the first trial was terminated. Viral RNA was detected at 1 dpm through 3 dpm from the personal protective equipment (PPE) of LB personnel. In addition, at 1 dpm, 2 hair/face swabs from MB personnel were positive; however, transmission of virus was not detected. All swabs of fomite from the HB study personnel were negative. Conclusions: These results indicate that indirect PEDV transmission through contaminated PPE occurs rapidly (within 24 h) under modeled conditions. Biosecurity procedures such as changing PPE, washing exposed skin areas, or taking a shower are recommended for pig production systems and appear to be an effective option for lowering the risk of PEDV transmission between groups of pigs.
- Animal movement
- Farm personnel
- Indirect transmission
- Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus