Part of Animal diseases

Swine delta coronavirus

Also known as porcine delta coronavirus, this provincially reportable disease causes diarrhea, vomiting and mortality in swine.


Swine delta coronavirus (SDCV) is also known as porcine delta coronavirus (PDCoV).

PDCoV is from the same family of viruses as the swine diseases porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) and transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE).

PDCoV causes diarrhea and vomiting in all age groups and mortality in nursing pigs.

How to report

If you suspect PDCoV in your herd, call your veterinarian within 24 hours.

PDCoV in pigs and wild boars is a provincially reportable disease under Alberta’s Animal Health Act. It requires immediate action to control or eradicate it.

All suspected or confirmed cases must be reported to the Office of the Chief Provincial Veterinarian (OCPV) within 24 hours:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)

Phone: 780-427-3448
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-415-0810

Clinical signs

PDCoV damages the lining of the gut in swine, causing diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration. The clinical signs of PDCoV are indistinguishable from those of PED or TGE, but tend to be less severe than PED. It can cause piglet mortality in severe cases, but not to the same extent as PED.

Where it’s found

There are no reported cases of PDCoV in pigs in Alberta.

PDCoV was initially detected in pigs in Hong Kong in 2012. The second report of this virus occurred in the United States in February 2014. It was confirmed in Ontario in March 2014.

During ongoing surveillance activities in partnership between the Alberta government and the pork industry, PDCoV has been detected on a few samples from pig-handling facilities in Alberta. The environmental samples were not taken from farms or sick animals.

How it spreads

Because PDCoV is a new disease, there is not a lot of information on the disease and how it spreads.

Risk to humans

There is no known risk to human health or food safety.


There is no treatment or effective vaccine for PDCoV.

As the disease is similar to PED, it should be prevented and managed in the same ways as PED.

  • ensuring vigilance and strong biosecurity at the farm level
  • diligent cleaning and disinfection by transporters, renderers, processors and other service providers
  • developing herd immunity to reduce clinical signs

Positive tests serve as a reminder to producers that any high pig-traffic site or vehicle could potentially be contaminated with the PDCoV or PED virus, at any time. Producers must work closely with their livestock hauler to ensure all trucks are cleaned, disinfected and dried every time before entering a farm.

Other biosecurity measures, such as cleaning and disinfecting load-out areas and requiring clean boots and clothing for all barn visitors, should also be strictly enforced. See also Swine biosecurity (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).

Control and monitoring

The Alberta government works closely with the pork industry to perform ongoing surveillance of farms and pig-handling facilities in Alberta. Together, we have been preparing for the possibility of PED or PDCoV. Any situations that arise are investigated and managed, and producers are kept informed.