posted on Monday, June 1, 2015 in AMVC Veterinarians in the News
Dr. Paul Thomas recently received a grant from the National Pork Board to further the understanding of role played by Common Starlings as a vector of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv) and Swine Deltacoronavirus (SDCV). The project titled, "A survery of Sturnus vulgaris (Common Starlings) near swine premises to determine the potential role as a vector of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus and swine deltacoronavirus." is scheduled to be completed by this fall. The viruses being studied were introduced into the United States nearly a year ago and have had a devastating effect on swine industry, particularly through the winter months. Both viruses cause severe diarrhea and vomiting in pigs, at times resulting in death of suckling piglets.
The goals of the project are to determine whether the Common Starling can serve as a mechanical vector PEDv and SDCV, whether starlings can pass the viruses in their droppings and whether the viruses can replicate within the digestive tract of the starlings.
Co-investigators for the projects are Drs. Josh Ellingson and Bob Blomme from AMVC and Dr. Derald Holtkamp from Iowa State University. Dr. Thomas is an associate veterinarian at AMVC Management Services and is enrolled in a post-doctoral program through the Swine Medicine Education Center. The Swine Medicine Education Center is a collaboration between AMVC and Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine.