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New Tools Improve Potential for PRRS Eradication

by 5m Editor
14 June 2010, at 11:26am

CANADA - A Minnesota based swine veterinarian says new tools designed to contain the spread of PRRS are raising optimism that the disease can eventually be eradicated, according to Bruce Cochrane.

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is a viral disease that is spread directly from pig to pig or through contaminated semen and indirectly through the air, by rodents or insects and on trucks or equipment.

Dr Scott Dee, with the Swine Disease Eradication Centre at the University of Minnesota, told those on hand last week for World Pork Expo new tools including sampling oral fluids to determine a herd's PRRS status, the use of GIS to track disease outbreaks and the use of air filtration have proved highly effective in controlling PRRS.

Dr Scott Dee-University of Minnesota

Biosecurity is a package deal.

We talk about air filters and things but they can't do it by themselves.

You need a comprehensive plan for a biosecurity programme to really be successful and that involves buying negative pigs and quarantining and testing them before they come in your farm, buying negative semen and having it tested before you use it.

It means setting up air filtration, it means cleaning trucks, it means having protocols for people to enter the farms properly and take showers or change boots and coveralls and wash their hands before the come in.

It's insect control, it's a way to manage the incoming fomites, the packages, all the parcels that come into a farm.

It can be mechanical vehicles so to speak of the virus as well.

It's a comprehensive plan and I stress that because, in the very few cases where we've had air filtration failures, it hasn't been because the filter systems have failed.

It's because the people or the trucks really haven't followed the rules and the virus got drug into the farm that way.

You've got to look at it in holistic approach.


Dr Dee says regional PRRS control pilot projects have proved successful in areas of low dense pig populations but the effort is really just getting underway and the big challenge will be in areas where there are so many more pigs and people.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on PRRS by clicking here.