Prairie Diagnostic Services Responds to Reports of Porcine Sapovirus in Canada

Farmscape for September 7, 2023

Full Interview 12:03 Listen

Prairie Diagnostic Services is now screening for Porcine Sapovirus when testing samples collected from baby pigs experiencing diarrhea.
In response to the first reports in Canada in January of Porcine Sapovirus, Prairie Diagnostic Services in Saskatoon has been working with the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University to make a diagnostic test available in Canada. PDS CEO Dr. Yanyun Huang says the virus has been known in North America for decades but it was first implicated as causing diarrhea in pigs in the U.S. in 2019.

Quote-Dr. Yanyun Huang-Prairie Diagnostic Services:
Because we had a couple of swine practitioners reporting that they are dealing with clinical cases, I recruited clinical samples from these veterinarians so we were able to use these samples to verify that the PCR assay actually works here. We fast-tracked the offering of this test after we knew the test actually works on the clinical samples we recruited. We offered this test as a research test so we are not waiting to accumulate certain numbers of detections when we can call this test fully validated. We are offering this test as a research test, with a disclaimer for our veterinarians that this test isn’t yet fully validated. But, because it is already being run in another diagnostic lab, we are confident with the test. By fast-tracking the offering of this test, we are able to encourage submissions from veterinarians and we are also screening the clinical samples that were submitted to PDS for Sapovirus. By this we have accumulated enough samples now that we will be able to fully validate this test.

Dr. Hwang says the clinical signs of this emerging infection are similar those of other enteric viruses so it’s important to be able to identify it to get the right treatment.

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