WPE REPORT: Research Leads to Hope of Eradication of PRRS

US - New research from the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University, pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim and numerous US organisations is leading to ways to contain and eradicate PRRS, writes ThePigSite senior editor, Chris Harris.
calendar icon 5 June 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

Speaking at the World Pork Expo in Des Moines, Dr Scott Dee from the University of Minnesota said that there had been successes in several research projects that together could help to eradicate the disease in the US pig herd.

Dr Dee said that research at Iowa State University had showed that it was now possible to test pig herds through sampling the pig's saliva rather than taking blood samples and these tests were able to also detect PCV2, SIV and Mycoplasma.

Research conducted at the University of Minnesota also found that by filtering the air into the pig barns, the virus which can travel airborne distances of more than three miles, could be eliminated.

And by the use of disinfectant in the filters, the process was made even more effective.

Dr Dee said that the cost of PRRS to a pig producer has been estimated at between $5 and $7 a pig but the cost of installing a filtration unit could be as little as $1 to $2 per pig.

Vaccination of the herds once infected also helped to reduce the spread of the disease and by adopting risk assessment tools and new software to track the disease, producers and vets are able to reduce the incidence and be greater prepared to control and tackle the disease.

Dr Dee said that area programmes with producers cooperating in sharing information and communicating about outbreaks also helped to control the disease.

Dr Dee said the research that is being carried out at present is largely into the effect on breeding herds, but he hoped that in future is will be expanded to weaner and finishing farms.

However, he warned that while the industry is working towards the target set in 2002 to eradicate the disease from the US pig herd, it could take up to 20 years before it is completely achieved.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.
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