Scientific Opinion on porcine epidemic diarrhoea and emerging porcine deltacoronavirus

alphacoronavirus, deltacoronavirus, pig, diarrhoea, cross-protection, impact, matrix
First published in the EFSA Journal
31 October 2014
22 October 2014
Scientific Opinion


In the last decade, many porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) outbreaks have been reported by several countries in Asia whereas only a few Member States of the European Union (EU) have reported PED clinical cases and/or PED virus (PEDV)-seropositive animals. This alphacoronavirus was first reported in the USA in May 2013, followed by rapid spread throughout the country and outbreaks reported by several countries in the Americas. The recent PEDV-EU isolates have high level of sequence identity to PEDV-Am isolates. Based on nucleotide sequencing, multiple variants of PEDV are circulating in Europe, the Americas and Asia but any difference in virulence and antigenicity is currently unknown. Serological cross-reactivity has been reported between PEDV isolated in Europe and in the Americas; however no data regarding cross-protection are available. The impact of different PEDV strains is difficult to compare between one country and another, since impact is dependent not only on pathogenicity but also on factors such as biosecurity, farm management, sanitary status or herd immune status. However, the clinical signs of PEDV infections in naive pigs are similar in different countries with mortalities up to 100% in naive newborn piglets. The impact of recently reported PED outbreaks in Asia and the USA seems to be more severe than what has been described in Europe. Infected animals, faeces, feed and objects contaminated with faeces are matrices that have been reported to transmit PEDV between farms. Infectious PEDV has been detected in spray-dried porcine plasma (SDPP) in one study but the origin of the infectious PEDV in SDPP is not clear. Detection of porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) has been reported in a few countries but only limited testing has been done. Based on the currently available information, it seems that PDCoV would have a lower impact than PEDV.

Panel members at the time of adoption

Edith Authie, Charlotte Berg, Anette Bøtner, Howard Browman, Aline De Koeijer, Klaus Depner, Mariano Domingo, Christian Ducrot, Sandra Edwards, Christine Fourichon, Frank Koenen, Simon More, Mohan Raj, Liisa Sihvonen, Hans Spoolder, Jan Arend Stegeman, Hans-Hermann Thulke, Ivar Vågsholm, Antonio Velarde and Preben Willeberg
Panel on Animal Health and Welfare
alpha [at]
EFSA Journal 2014;12(10):3877
Question Number
On request from
European Commission