One of the most effective biosecurity measures producers can use to protect their hog operation starts with protecting the feed their hogs eat. It has been proven contaminated feed can be one of the vectors through which pathogens and viruses enter a farm operation.
As an integral part of the food chain, Feed Energy is highly sensitive to the importance of protecting our customers’ animals. In 2018 we launched R2 – our proprietary patent pending line products that delivers essential nutrients to the animal through the feed source while helping to control pathogens in the feed. Field trials proved that R2 was effective in helping to mitigate several pathogens including E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, Listeria and Clostridium.
From left to right -Feed Energy’s Cal Halstead, Dr. Eric Weaver, Scott Cadwell
With the success R2 was having in controlling pathogens we did further studies to see if it would be effective constraining other viruses. Our trials found R2 was also effective mitigating PRRSv and PED – two of the deadliest infectious diseases in hog operations. Encouraged by our results we asked Dr. Scott Dee, veterinarian and researcher with Pipestone Veterinary Services to include R2 in his trials evaluating disease mitigants in feed.
In 2019 the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research awarded Pipestone Applied Research a grant to do research on the prevention of swine viruses in animal feed. The study was done at the Pipestone Applied Research facility in Pipestone, Minnesota.
The research was focused on finding a way to stem the spread of viruses through contaminated animal feed. The research team tested feed additives and disease mitigants on their ability to neutralize Porcine Reproductive & Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) and Seneca Valley A (SVA).
The Pipestone R2 study involved two groups: Group 1- Complete feed mixed with R2 at a 3% inclusion; Group 2 – Complete feed (no mitigants) positive control. The pigs originated from a source herd documented to be free of all 3 viral pathogens. The pigs were put in six different rooms, 100 pigs per room with independent air spaces. Each room had separate feed bins to insure the R2 treated feed was isolated from the positive control none treated feed.
The viral challenge was done using ice blocks inoculated with the diseases and dropped into each feed bin on days 0 -6. As the blocks melted, they contaminated the feed with all 3 viruses which was then fed to the pigs in each of the six rooms.
Ante-mortem samples, including oral fluids and Swiffer samples of feeders were collected across the 6 rooms at 0 – 6 – 15 days post-inoculation (DPI) of the feed. Post-mortem samples were collected from 30 pigs from each room at 15DPI. The samples included – Tonsil for SVA, Serum for PRRSv and rectal swabs for PEDV.
The postmortem chart below shows the impressive results in the rooms where R2 was added to the feed source. None of the pigs fed R2 were infected with any of the three viruses nor did the rooms themselves test positive. The Average Daily Gain (ADG) for the R2 fed pigs was a remarkable 380% increase over that of the control fed pigs.
“The results from the Pipestone R2Ice Block Viral Challenge proves that R2 successfully stemmed the spread of 3 of the deadliest viruses through contaminated feed,” said Dr. Mohan Dasari, Sr. Director, Product and Process Development for Feed Energy. “We believe the results from this study could save pork producers millions of dollars lost annually to deadly viruses.”
Additional studies are planned to see if R2 is effective in helping to control other viruses – perhaps even the feared African swine fever.
To see the details and complete results of the Pipestone R2 “Ice Block Viral Challenge” give us a call at 800 451-9413 or go to our website at www.feedenergy.com.
At Feed energy we are absolutely committed to our mission: We help feed the world by providing safe, energy-based nutrition solutions.