Viral transmission through feed

Dr. Chad Paulk, Kansas State University

The ability of African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) to move easily throughout a country due to movement of animals and contaminated fomites showcases the ability of ASFV to cause disastrous consequences on a naïve pig population. An introduction of ASFV into North America is a significant threat not only to the health and wellbeing of the swine population, but also to our significant trade relationships with countries that have endemic ASFV. Regulatory control of live animals and pork-containing foods substantially reduces this risk ASFV introductory into North America. However, because ASFV can survive in feed during shipping, there is concern that contaminated feed or ingredients will introduce ASFV into the North American swine population. Regardless of its method of entry, there is concern that infection of US or Canadian pigs may result in contamination of the feed supply chain, leading to rapid and widespread distribution of the virus like what was seen with Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV). Field evidence suggests that ASFV can be distributed throughout the feed supply chain. Recent research confirmed that the distribution of ASFV into the feed manufacturing environment is widespread and persists even after manufacturing additional feed batches initially free of ASFV. This is similar to what is observed with PEDV and indicates that it is extremely important to prevent the entry of ASFV into feed mills. Therefore, reducing the risk of ASFV or other biological hazards in feed manufacturing facilities is an important part of the complete biosecurity plan for pig producers.

Dr. Chad Paulk is an Assistant Professor of Feed Science and Management in the Department of Grain Science and Industry at Kansas State University. He received his B.Sc. (2009) from the University of Georgia, and M.Sc. (2011) and Ph.D. (2014) from Kansas State University. He previously served as an Assistant Professor of Swine Nutrition and Production at Texas A&M University in the Department of Animal Science from 2014 – 2017. His current responsibilities include 60% research and 40% teaching. His three main areas of research include feed processing, feed safety, and monogastric nutrition. Dr. Paulk is responsible for teaching classes pertaining to qualities of feed ingredients, animal food safety, and introduction to grain science.

Scroll to Top