Endemic transmissible gastroenteritis: Difficulty in diagnosis and attempted confirmation using a transmission trial
Catherine E. Dewey, DVM, MSc, PhD; Susy Carman, DVM, Dip Sm An Med, PhD; Murray Hazlett, DVM, DVSc, Diplomate ACVP; Tony van Dreumel, DVM, MSc, Diplomate ACVP; Nonie Smart, DVM, MSc, PhD
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A commercial farrow-to-wean herd experienced an outbreak of preweaning diarrhea of several month's duration. Routine diagnostic laboratory tests on affected piglets suggested the involvement of a number of enteric pathogens, including transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), rotavirus, coccidiosis, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, and Clostridium perfringens. Even though TGEV could not be consistently demonstrated in all affected pigs, it was suspected to be the main cause of the piglet diarrhea. However, it was difficult to confirm that virulent TGEV infection was the cause of the ongoing diarrhea problem using routine diagnostic serologic and antigen detection tests, because affected pigs were not identified early in the disease process and because a modified-live TGEV vaccine was being used concurrently in the herd. Subsequently, a transmission trial was used to confirm the presence of virulent TGE. In this trial, healthy pigs from a specific-pathogen-free (SPF) herd were commingled with diseased pigs from the case herd. The SPF pigs were necropsied 24 hours after being commingled, 6 hours after the beginning of clinical signs of disease. Results conclusively showed that virulent TGEV had been transmitted to neonatal piglets. A transmission trial is an effective tool to confirm a tentative diagnosis of virulent TGEV infection.
Keywords: transmissible gastroenteritis, endemic TGE
Cite as: Dewey CE, Carman S, Hazlett M, et al. Endemic transmissible gastroenteritis: Difficulty in diagnosis and attempted confirmation using a transmission trial. J Swine Health Prod 1999;7(2):73-78.
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