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Management of PRRS Continues to Improve

27 June 2012
University of Manitoba

US - A professor of veterinary medicine with the University of Minnesota says despite ongoing problems with the spread of PRRS, the North American pork industry is a lot better at managing the infection, writes Bruce Cochrane.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, or PRRS, causes reproductive failure in the sow herd as well as poor performance in growing pigs.

Dr Bob Morrison, a professor of veterinary medicine with the University of Minnesota, says there are good strategies available for addressing PRRS but those strategies will vary depending on the density of infection.

Dr Bob Morrison-University of Minnesota:

Most informed veterinarians and producers would say that PRRS is probably the most costly infection we have in the North American industry today.

It's a virus.

The denser is the area the more likely that farms will have PRRS.

PRRS being a virus is quite transmissible both within a sow farm and across sow farms and so there's been fairly nice work to show that it can spread quite easily on equipment, on machinery, of course within pigs but also through the air at certain times of year.

On the one hand there's a great deal of frustration with PRRS because we've been putting a lot of time and effort and money into trying to understand better ways to control it and many farms still struggle with PRRS so there's a great deal of frustration with it.

On the other hand we know a lot more than we did let's say in recent years again with regards to diagnostics, with regards to control and so while it's frustrating that farms get re-infected we're a lot better at managing the infection today.


Dr Morrison says veterinarians and producers are less willing to live with PRRS in the breeding herd so if a herd does become infected, there's almost immediately a series of steps put into place to eliminate the virus so producers can wean negative pigs because those pigs will perform better.

Further Reading

Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.

TheCropSite News Desk

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