Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED)

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  • PED virus (PEDv) is a TGE-like virus causing diarrhea in a large proportion of all ages of swine when epidemic. If endemic, then diarrhea is observed with lower morbidity in predominantly suckling and recently weaned pigs.
  • PED has been endemic in Europe and Asia but has not been present the US until the spring of 2013
  • PED has been recently identified in many herds in multiple states in the US
  • PEDv only affects pigs; there are no other known carriers, including humans
  • Although PEDv is a coronavirus that is related to TGE virus, tests for TGE virus will not detect PEDv.

More information:

Criteria for PEDv Testing:

  • Epidemics (morbidity > 50%) of malabsorptive diarrhea which can occur in all ages of swine
  • Atrophic enteritis is demonstrated in small intestine by histopathology


  • Diagnosis of PED is confirmed by PCR on feces or intestines from acutely affected pigs or by immunohistochemistry on formalin-fixed intestine
  • The Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory has capacity for high-throughput testing by a battery of PCR test methods

ISU VDL tests:

List the list of current tests here.

Sample Collection Guidelines:

Sample types and submission process is the same as for TGE (see complete guidelines below)

  • At least 10 ml of feces or intestinal contents on ice from acutely-affected pigs within first 24 hours of onset of diarrhea
  • Fresh intestine (10 inch segments of jejunum, ileum and colon) on ice
  • Formalin-fixed small intestine (6 sections 1” in length) and colon (3 sections 1” in length)
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY, collect samples from acutely-affected pigs within the first 24 hours of onset of diarrhea

Porcine Enteritis Sample Collection Guidelines

The best specimens are collected from acutely-ill (<24 hours) live untreated pig(s).

Feces >10 ml of feces
Colon and cecum Entire organ, fresh/chilled
Several 1 cm pieces, formalin-fixed
Ileum 10-15 cm segments, fresh/chilled
Three 1 cm pieces, formalin-fixed
Jejunum 10-15 cm segments, fresh/chilled
Three 1 cm pieces, formalin-fixed
Other Lesions as warranted Fresh/chilled tissues
Several 1 cm pieces, formalin-fixed
Samples removed at necropsy in the field are better than a whole dead pig submitted to the lab.
  1. Samples must be taken as soon after death as possible (within minutes).
  2. Intestines do not need to be tied off at the ends.
  3. Flush intestinal segments for histopathologic examination with formalin and drop in fixative or gently open ends of 1/2" segments with a scissors or forceps to expose mucosa as immersed.
  4. Pool all formalin-fixed tissues from each pig in one bag; individual pigs can be pooled or kept separate as desired.
  5. Package fresh intestines separately from other tissues and each pig in a separate bag. Chill fresh tissues before mailing. Do NOT freeze.
  6. Do not send whole, dead pigs (intestines autolyze quickly).


PED virus, TGE virus, Rotavirus
Bacteria Brachyspiraspp., Clostridium spp. E. coli, Enterococcus durans,Lawsonia intracellularis, Salmonellaspp. Brachyspira spp.
Parasites Coccidia, Cryptosporidia, Nematodes
  • Feces from acutely affected pigs are useful for PCR detection of PED, TGEV, Lawsonia intracellularisand fecal flotation for parasites.
  • Samples (10-20 ml) should be taken on the first day of diarrhea. Brachyspira hyodysenteriae can occasionally be isolated from feces (swabs are even less reliable). Salmonella spp. are difficult to recover from feces and/or rectal swabs.