Alternative Control Strategy Successful in the Face of Persistent SIV

8 August 2012, at 9:01am

GLOBAL - The veterinarians in charge of two swine operations experiencing persistent swine influenza virus (SIV) knew something different had to be done. Diagnostics showed that sows were shedding SIV to piglets. But how to combat SIV, boost herd immunity and produce SIV-negative pigs without losing precious time - and pigs? The solution was a two-dose strategy using FluSure XP in the entire breeding herd 21 to 28 days apart.

"Even though we weren't seeing clinical signs of SIV in sows, suckling and nursery pigs were experiencing acute coughing," says Marty Mohr, DVM, veterinarian at New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center, in New Ulm, Minn. Mohr is the consulting veterinarian at a 1,200-sow farrow-to-finish operation near there.

Mr Mohr attacked the operation's SIV issues with sound diagnostics and a change in the control strategy. "Within 10 weeks of implementing the two-dose breeding herd vaccination strategy, SIV-negative pigs were achieved and clinical signs disappeared. And all in less time than it takes to make an autogenous vaccine," says Mr Mohr.

As a consulting veterinarian at a 3,600-sow farm in Iowa, Bill Hollis, DVM, Carthage Veterinary Service, Ltd., Carthage, Ill., saw similar issues with uncontrolled SIV, even though the operation had a pre-farrowing vaccination protocol.

Mr Hollis was skeptical of the alternative strategy because he didn't think sows that had already been vaccinated would provide a different response.

"But this strategy worked very well to stop SIV activity by eliminating coughing pigs, improving gilt health post-arrival and drastically improving overall pig quality in just eight weeks," says MrHollis. "We went from an average post-weaning mortality of 12.6 per cent to 4.4 per cent."

The potential revenue increase per year for Mr Hollis's client was also substantial: more than $200,000 for a $7,200 vaccine investment. That equates to a potential 28-to-1 return on investment.

"With smoldering SIV activity, I recommend that swine veterinarians consider this alternative strategy to aggressively homogenize the sow herd's immunity to improve the quality of weaned pigs leaving the farm," says Mr Hollis.

The results that Mohr and Hollis achieved show that vaccinating an entire breeding herd simultaneously with two doses of FluSure XP 21 to 28 days apart helps:

  • Boost population immunity
  • Produce SIV-negative pigs within eight to 10 weeks of first dose
  • Decrease prevalence of nasal shedding in sows below detectable levels
  • Realize a potential positive return on investment; 28 to 1 in Hollis's experience
  • Lower transmission of virus within the herd

It's also valuable to know that Flu DETECT® Swine is a cost-effective way to help determine if weaned, SIV-clinical pigs are actively shedding SIV. Flu DETECT Swine is a new on-farm rapid test for SIV type A detection. FluSure XP and Flu DETECT Swine are pivotal tools in helping control SIV and helping wean SIV-negative pigs.

For complete information and data on these real-world case studies using FluSure XP and to learn more about Flu Detect Swine, visit Also learn more by contacting your veterinarian or Pfizer Animal Health representative.