Transmissible Gastroenteritis

 

Definition

TGE

Agent

TGE is caused by a virus belonging to the virus family coronavirus

Related viruses

1 PRCV Porcine Respiratory Coronavirus which is a mutant of TGE

2 Porcine Epidemic Diarrhoea virus I and II

3 Haemagglutinating Encephalomyelitis virus

The emergence of PRCV in 1986 effectively vaccinated the European herd against TGE. In America PRCV only appears to reduce the clinical signs

Clinical signs

Initially

TGE NC

Watery diarrhoea (foul smelling yellowish-green often containing flecks of undigested milk particles in the piglet); vomiting and loss of appetite in pigs of all ages. The disease spreads rapidly around the farm.

Piglets less than 21 days of age are all affected and generally die. Weaners become unthrifty. Growers, finishers and adults are generally mildly affected and will survive if their water supplies are adequate.

Outbreaks on smaller herds generally only last 3 weeks.

Chronic

On large herds the disease can persist for some time contributing to post-weaning diarrhoea.

Spread

Spread occurs directly or indirectly through contact with infected faeces.

Starlings in particular are implicated in the spread of the virus.

The virus is relatively fragile and susceptible to disinfectants and drying. However, can survive a few days in the cold, hence the disease is more severe in the winter

Incubation

18 hours to 3 days


 

Treatment and Control measures

Treatment

There is no specific treatment. Vaccine are generally disappointing. However, nursing and enhanced management of the piglet may reduce loss

Provide warmth, extra bedding and fluids (electrolytes)

If sows go off their milk provide milk replacer/creep

Cross-suckle affected piglets onto recovered sows

Early wean into warm dry flat decks or similar accommodation

Use antibiotics as directed by your vet to control secondary infections

Ensure that all non-pregnant and pregnant (up to 3 weeks pre-farrowing) are exposed to the TGE virus (intestines and feaces of affected piglets).

Sows about to farrow must not be exposed or they will infect their offspring and have inadequate colostrum to provide adequate cover

Control

Critically assess your general hygiene and disease control measures. Including the avoidance of unwanted visitors

Provide specific loading/unloading areas for pigs and keep them clean

Utilise adequately isolation facilities for introduced animals

Bird proof pig units where practical

Avoid spillage of feed around hoppers, and where food is split clean it up

On yarding systems cover all feed hoppers

Elimination protocols

Zoonotic implications

None