PEDv, an extremely infectious coronavirus that infects the small intestine of a pig, causes severe diarrhea and dehydration leading to high piglet mortality. The United States PEDv epidemic has had substantial economic impact since its May, 2013 discovery. In a single year, PEDv has spread across 30 states, killing millions of pigs and resulting in an estimated loss of 10% of the U.S. pig population. This has led to alarming increases in U.S pig and pork prices that are projected to continue worsening. The January, 2014 discovery of PEDv in Canada therefore demands a rapid response to halt the spread of the virus and prevent a national epidemic.
In response to the PEDv threat, Genome Alberta has launched “The 2014 Program on Research and Innovation Leading to a Rapid Genomics Response to the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv)” in collaboration with Genome Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), The Ontario Genomics Institute (OGI) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Ministry of Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). The program aims to encourage innovative, genomics-based research projects that will significantly reduce the impact of PEDv on the Canadian economy and pork industry. Such projects will produce new methods for the rapid detection of PEDv, identify markers for sow PEDv immunity, enhance current PEDv vaccines and validate markers of PEDv resistance. These genomic tools will ultimately limit the spread of PEDv throughout Canada and minimize its impact on the Canadian economy.
Letters of Intent are due June 5, 2014.