Air Filtration: Efforts to Control PRRS Advanced

CANADA - A Minnesota-based swine veterinarian says new developments in air filtration are among the key advances in the battle against Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in swine herds, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 19 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Resulting in an estimated 560 million dollars in losses to the US swine industry each year Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is considered be the most expensive disease affecting swine.

Dr. Scott Dee, with the Swine Disease Eradication Centre at the University of Minnesota, notes, over the past two years major advances have been made in sampling oral fluids to determine a herd's PRRS status, in tools for coordinating areas such as GIS, in new ways to use existing vaccines and in ways to prevent disease spread with filtration.

Dr. Scott Dee-University of Minnesota

The big problem we've had to deal with is area spread of the virus.

That's the virus moving from farm to farm.

For along time we've known we can clean it up from a farm but when a farm gets re-infected with a new virus it's very disappointing and very economically devastating.

Our work with air filtration, I think, has been one of the important steps forward in understanding how to protect farms so they can clean themselves up and they can remain free of infection even if they live in very dense regions of their country.

I think that's going to be an important advancement.

We have to test that more, we have to assess its sustainability, we have to evaluate its cost benefit but I think over time it's going to prove to be one of the important factors in herd to herd biosecurity.

That will propel the industry very quickly once people understand the cost benefit of air filtration combined with these other tools that have been so important in the last few years.

Despite the pessimism Dr. Dee is convinced PRRS can be eradicated.

He says it may take 20 years or more to get it done and researchers will need to move slowly and carefully 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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