Research Collaboration to Combat Deadly Disease Found in Pigs

A research funding group consisting 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, is banding together to combat Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PEDV).

PEDV kills young piglets at an astonishing rate with a near 100 per cent mortality rate in suckling pigs. The research effort has been launched to understand and stop the disease, to protect the young pigs, and to aid the pork industry in North America.

PEDV first appeared in the United States in April 2013 and by January of 2014 it had appeared in Canada. At least eight million pigs have died since it was first discovered. More than 70 cases have been reported in Canada in PEI, Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba.

Genome Alberta saw a way for genomics to be used to respond to the threat and put together a plan which included finding the necessary funding.

The contributors to the $650,000 funding envelope identified the value of genomics technology in dealing with the PEDV outbreak, launched the request for proposals, and assembled an international team of peer reviewers to recommend the projects to be funded.

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