- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A team of veterinary researchers at Iowa State University has discovered the cause of a disease that makes baby pigs involuntary shake which has perplexed hog farmers for more than 90 years.

Researchers from the university teamed up with scientists from Missouri-based animal health company Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica to use new DNA sequencing techniques to trace the piglet tremors to a virus.

Infected piglets, sometimes referred to as “shaker pigs” or “dancing pigs,” can die from starvation if the tremors are severe enough.

Iowa State veterinary pathologist Bailey Arruda says veterinarians have long recognized the congenital tremors but could never pinpoint the cause until now.

Now that the researchers have identified the virus, work can begin to develop a vaccine.

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