Advances Raise Hope for Eradication of PRRS

CANADA - A Minnesota based swine veterinarian is confident Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome can be eradicated from the US swine herd, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 10 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome or PRRS is the most expensive disease affecting swine, resulting in an estimated 560 million dollars worth of losses to the US industry each year.

Dr. Scott Dee, with the Swine Disease Eradication Centre at the University of Minnesota, told those on hand last week for World Pork Expo in Des Moines recent advances in dealing with PRRS offer hope for the eventual eradication of the disease.

Dr. Scott Dee-University of Minnesota

Over the last two years we've made major advances in a number of important areas such as using oral fluids for sampling herds to understand their PRRS virus status.

We've found out ways to prevent airborne spread of virus from farm to farm through filtration.

We've got tools now that we can use for coordinating areas such as GIS, look at an area, identify the farms and basically it's a picture of the area which we all need to understand what we're going to do with this particular area.

We've got new ways to use existing vaccines to reduce transmission of virus from pig to pig and we've got very successful examples of producers working together in an effort to clean up the disease from a fairly large area so a lot of advances in the last couple of years.

Dr. Dee encourages producers to work with their veterinarians to understand the disease status on their own and on surrounding farms and to share information with neighbors.

He notes that's been done in Minnesota and other states and there's a great example in Ontario where a group of veterinarians and producers is developing a large scale control program.

He says eradication may take 20 years but we've got important tools that we didn't have a couple of years ago.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.
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