Over the last few years several porcine epidemic diarrhoea (PED) outbreaks have been discovered in Europe including the first PED case in Slovenia in January 2015. The aim of this study was to determine when PED virus (PEDV) infection started in Slovenia. Serum samples collected between 2012 and 2016 were tested. Three hundred and seventy-five serum samples were collected from 132 Slovenian small, one-site pig farms. Samples were tested for PEDV antibodies utilising three different serological methods: commercially-available indirect ELISA, in-house blocking ELISA test and Immunoperoxidase Monolayer Assay (IPMA) test. One hundred and seventy (45.33%) tested samples were found positive by the commercially-available ELISA test kit, and 10 (5.68%) of these 170 samples found positive were positive by the in-house blocking ELISA. Only these 10 samples were collected from a farm where clinical signs of PED infection had been observed and PEDV was confirmed by RT-PCR methodology; the other 160 samples were collected randomly. Thirty-two samples with the highest S/P value obtained with the commercial ELISA were all negative with IPMA. Reasons for the high variance in the results obtained remain unclear; more research is required to ensure higher sensitivity and specificity in terms of PEDV antibody tests and other PED diagnostic methods.
The large heterogeneity among porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) isolates is probably the main obstacle to its effective control using current commercial vaccines. Intentionally exposing all breeding pigs to PRRSV circulating on the farm could eliminate porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) from the herd. The objective of this study was to eliminate PRRS from a farrow-to-finish pig farm by serum inoculation. The owner was acquainted with the strict biosecurity measures. Breeding pigs were immunised with serum, which was obtained from PRRSV-positive weaners from the same farm. The percent of antibody high positive breeding pigs decreased six months after serum inoculation, while 34 months after serum inoculation no more antibody high positive pigs were detected and 56.8% of breeding pigs and all other categories were free of antibodies. In the breeding herd no virus was detected during all testing while PRRSV circulated in 2-month-old weaners until 12 months after serum inoculation. Later all tested samples from weaners, growers and fatteners were negative. Herd closure and the adoption of strict biosecurity measures are essential. Serum inoculation of the breeding herd proved to be a successful measure for eliminating PRRS from this farrow-to-finish farm.