Researchers are constantly learning more about the the evolution of PRRS. During the recent Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) PRRS session at the North American PRRS Symposium, Dr. Mike Murtaugh, University of Minnesota, shared characterizations of new emerging strains of the PRRS virus.
“We found from looking at a large amount of data from farms and systems sequencing viruses and outbreaks they’ve had that this virus [PRRS 174 virus] is kind of a new discovery. It does not change very fast. That has been seen before, but people did not know it.”
Dr. Murtaugh said this virus is more severe. It has two features other strains do not have. Once it gets into a system, it’s hard to get rid of. Maybe it’s more adaptive. He said the second is that many pigs with 174 were immune animals. It’s not uncommon for immune animals to get PRRS, but the severity of the virus is profound.
“As long as you have PRRS, it will go where pigs go. The virus all by itself can only travel short distances. When it’s infected in a pig and you move a pig is how the virus really moves long distances. If you have pigs that do not have PRRS then you will not have the virus moving around.”
Efforts combatting PRRS have reduced the number of outbreaks in the U.S. swine herd and Dr. Murtaugh said he is confident in the tools out there in fighting the virus in the future. Listen to my complete interview with Dr. Murtaugh here: Interview with Dr. Mike Murtaugh, University of Minnesota
View and download photos from the event here: 2015 BIVI PRRS Seminar Photo Album