Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica (BIVI) celebrated 20 years of PRRS (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome) solutions during this year’s World Pork Expo. Reid Philips, DVM, technical manager for PRRS vaccines and BIVI outlined how far the swine industry has come in the last two decades in controlling the virus.
Interestingly, Reid explained that in the 1980s when PRRS was first showing up in herds, it was known as the devastating “mystery swine disease”. Today not only is it a much less of a mystery but a virus that through collaborative research efforts between the industry, academia and producer organizations, the disease can be controlled.
Over the past 20 years, Reid said that they had to begin the process of finding solutions to PRRS by asking critical questions and then searching out the answers. The more answers they discovered, better tools and strategies emerged.
For 13 years BIVI has had a dedicated PRRS program and through the company’s continuous and innovative developments have identified five important manageable areas that will have the greatest impact on the disease: pig flow management; measurement and surveillance; immunity management; biosecurity; and communication, coordination and collaboration through area regional control programs.
Reid expanded on the key areas by noting some critical discoveries and management strategies:
- Research has shown that herd closure and partial or total depopulation can have a major impact on controlling PRRS infections in the herd.
- Research has enabled BIVI to develop more accurate PCR and ELISA diagnostics to test for PRRS virus in through various means including oral fluids, semen, aerosol and the environment.
- Developments in immunity management of the breeding herd and growing pigs and research shows vaccination with modified live virus vaccines are effective, such as Ingelvac PRRS MLV.
- Biosecurity and the development of the PRRS Risk Assessment of the system or farm is one of the first steps to identifying holes or potential disease problem areas.
- In terms of communication, one successful method is through Area Regional Control Programs or ARC.
“The Key to effective PRRS control today,” said Reid, ” comes down to reducing transmission and improving immunity.”
To learn more about the 20 year history of how far the industry has come in controlling PRRS, listen to Cindy Zimmerman’s interview with Dr. Reid Philips.BIVI Celebrates 20 Years PRRS Solutions
Check out the 2014 World Pork Expo photo album.