Monoglyceride reduces viability of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus in feed and prevents disease transmission to post-weaned piglets.
Outbreaks of African swine fever virus (ASFv) and porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) have revealed the susceptibility of livestock to disease transmitted through feed. Several viruses, including PEDv, survive in feed and may introduce disease that causes significant morbidity and mortality. In 2013, PEDv, which causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting, reached North America after spreading for decades across Eurasia. The global exchange of ingredients has created demand for products that prevent disease transmission from feed. Formaldehyde-based products are highly effective at inactivating enveloped viruses when applied at 3.25 kg/t. Alternative products to formaldehyde, including carboxylic acids, essential oils and medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), have exhibited mixed efficacy against PEDv and require application rates higher than formaldehyde. Amphiphilic molecules like MCFAs disrupt the bilayer-lipid membranes that protect viral nucleic acids through the formation of micelles. Monoglycerides form micelles at lower concentrations than MCFAs, which suggests they may be more potent against enveloped viruses. The potential efficacy of monoglycerides against enveloped viruses in feed led to the development and examination of an experimental monoglyceride blend. The proprietary monoglyceride blend significantly (p < .0001) reduced PEDv viability in vitro after application to feed at 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 kg/t. The monoglyceride was tested in a natural feeding behaviour challenge model in piglets. The feed was contaminated with ice-blocks containing viable PEDv, and the piglets were exposed to PEDv through the feed bin for 20 days. At the end of the 20-day challenge period, all pigs were rectally swabbed and tested for PEDv by qPCR. In the untreated control group 54.8% of the piglets tested positive for PEDv, whereas none of the MCFA-treated feed (10 kg/t inclusion) transmitted PEDv. Strikingly, the monoglyceride-treated groups (1.5, 2.5 and 3.5 kg/t) all exhibited 100% protection from PEDv. These data support the use of this proprietary monoglyceride blend in mitigation and prevention of viral disease transmission to piglets from contaminated feed.