2006 PRRS Research Awards from BIVI Focus on Detection, Diagnostic Protocols

MISSOURI - Research studies involving the transmission and monitoring of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) are the areas of concentration for the 2006 Advancement in PRRS Research Awards sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., (BIVI).
calendar icon 7 March 2006
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This is the fourth consecutive year BIVI has provided $75,000 in research grants to independent swine researchers and practitioners to investigate new ways to diagnose, control and eradicate this costly swine disease.

Dr. Jens Kjaer, director of swine sales and marketing for BIVI, says these new research studies will build upon the rapidly growing scientific knowledge base for PRRS that currently exists within the swine industry. “Sound practical research is critical to uncovering the mysteries of PRRS and in developing on-farm solutions to this devastating disease,“ Kjaer explains. “What we learn from these research programs will help the swine industry improve its monitoring, diagnostics and detection processes for the PRRS virus, resulting in reduced transmission and infection rates for the disease.“

The three recipients of the 2006 BIVI Advancement in PRRS Research Awards and their areas of research are:

  • Jeff Zimmerman, DVM, Ph.D., Iowa State University, Ames – research grant to evaluate the performance of several different diagnostic tests in detecting PRRSV in “meat juice“ samples and determine if PCR-positive meat samples in convalescent animals contain infectious virus levels sufficient to infect other pigs that consume virus-contaminated pork. The results of the study will determine which tests are most accurate in diagnosing PRRSV in meat juice, which will be useful in surveillance and eradication programs, as well as analysis of pork from PRRSV-infected countries.

  • Claudia Munoz-Zanzi, DVM, MPVM, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, St. Paul – research grant to study the sensitivity of PRRSV PCR for pooled serum and blood swab samples of boars during acute infection, which will be used to model and evaluate protocols for negative boar studs. The benefit of this study is to determine whether pooling is a valuable tool in monitoring protocols for PRRS-negative boars.

  • Scott Dee, DVM, MS, Ph.D., Swine Disease Eradication Center, University of Minnesota, St. Paul – research grant to evaluate the impact of several variables on the accuracy of blood swabbing and jugular ventipuncture blood collection for the detection of peracute PRRSV infection in gilts. The results of the study will help improve detection of early PRRSV infection to preserve PRRSV-naïve nucleus farms, boar studs and downstream pig flow.

The three PRRS research grants were recently awarded by Boehringer Ingelheim during the 2006 American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) conference in Kansas City, Missouri. These research studies were selected from proposals submitted by graduate students, academic researchers, company and private researchers, as well as practicing veterinarians.

An independent PRRS Research and Review Board conducted the rigorous review and selection process based on established criteria: potential for economic impact to the swine industry; originality and scientific quality; and probability of success in completing the study.

Members of the review board included: Bill Mengeling, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVM, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Locke Karriker, DVM, MS, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; Tim Loula, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota; Luc Defresne, DVM, Seaboard Farms, Shawnee Mission, Kansas; and Tom Gillespie, DVM, Rensselaer Swine Services, Rensselaer, Indiana.

Funding of independent research grants is part of BIVI’s commitment to help the swine industry find a cure for PRRS and other swine diseases, says Kjaer. “It’s imperative that all industry partners work together to address the challenges and find solutions to production problems. We at BIVI are fortunate to have extensive swine disease research and diagnostic resources and expertise and are able to make these available for the benefit of the industry.“

Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (St. Joseph, MO), is a subsidiary of Boehringer Ingelheim Corporation based in Ridgefield, CT and a member of the Boehringer Ingelheim group of companies.

The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 144 affiliates in 45 countries and nearly 36,000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine.

In 2004, Boehringer Ingelheim posted net sales of US $10.2 billion (8.2 billion euro) while spending nearly one fifth of net sales in its largest business segment, Prescription Medicines, on research and development.

Further Information

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Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.


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