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2022

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11

Will Seneca Virus Affect China's Export from Pork Source Countries?

Source:

OIG+X

In Oct 2022, Customs personnel at Yantian Port detected Seneca virus A (SVA) from Mexican imported pork products, thus strengthening the inspection rate of Seneca virus A (used to be called Seneca Vally Virus) from some imported pork products. Pork exporters now focus on China's treatment for SVA found in imported pork products.

 

In Oct 2022, Customs personnel at Yantian Port detected Seneca virus A (SVA) from Mexican imported pork products, thus strengthening the inspection rate of Seneca virus A (used to be called Seneca Vally Virus) from some imported pork products. Pork exporters now focus on China's treatment for SVA found in imported pork products.

 

SVA belongs to the family of micro RNA viruses. The incubation period is 4-5 days usually. Pigs at all breeding stages are vulnerable to this virus, being more pathogenic to newborn piglets yet less to sows and commercial pigs. Once piglets are infected with SVA, they will have over 70% incidence rate and a 15%-20% mortality rate. It's easy to lead to misdiagnosis by veterinarians, resulting in ineffective prevention and control and hidden dangers to pig breeding, because SVA-infected pigs mainly show symptoms of water herpes, similar to the blistering disease caused by foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) and swine blistering disease virus (SVDV).

 

Seneca virus A was first discovered in a slaughterhouse in the United States in 2007, in which the commercial pigs imported from Canada showed obvious symptoms of blister disease. The pathogenic screening showed that it was associated with SVA infection.

 

Subsequently, SVA outbreaks were found in the United States, Thailand, Vietnam and other places. It was transmitted to China in Mar 2015 for the first time.

 

On June 20, 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued a Notice on the Prevention and Control of Seneca Virus A, arousing the attention of the industry.

 

At present, it is not clear how SVA is transmitted in pig herds and no studies have reported that Seneca virus type A can be transmitted by pork or its products. Vaccines against SVA are mainly in development.

 

It is worth mentioning that the clinical symptoms of SVA after infection are very similar to those of other blister diseases. Therefore, rapid and accurate diagnosis is particularly important. Although SVA has not brought great harm like a  foot-and-mouth disease at the present stage, it should not be ignored that small RNA viruses have strong ability to gene mutation and recombination. With the mutation and evolution of the virus, It is difficult to guarantee that there is no possibility of transmission through pork.

 

As mentioned above, little understanding of SVA virus is known by humans. So even if it is found in the spot inspection of imported products in China, the current treatment method is mostly destroyed or returned, not affecting the normal export of the producing countries.