New pig virus found to be a potential threat to humans

Terra Daily – May 15, 2018

A recently identified pig virus can readily find its way into laboratory-cultured cells of people and other species, a discovery that raises concerns about the potential for outbreaks that threaten human and animal health.

Researchers at The Ohio State University and Utrecht University in the Netherlands collaborated to better understand the new virus and its potential reach. Their study, the first to point to possible transmission of this virus between species, appears online in the journal PNAS.

Porcine deltacoronavirus was first identified in 2012 in pigs in China, but it was not associated with disease. It was first detected in the United States in 2014 during a diarrhea outbreak in Ohio pigs and has since been detected in various countries. Young, infected pigs experience acute diarrhea and vomiting. The disease can be fatal. As of yet, no human cases have been documented, but scientists are concerned about the possibility.

“We’re very concerned about emerging coronaviruses and worry about the harm they can do to animals and their potential to jump to humans,” said Saif, a distinguished university professor of veterinary preventive medicine.

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