Working Towards PRRS Control and Elimination

Pipestone Veterinary Clinic recently held a series of meetings to bring clients and system shareholders the latest information on control and elimination of the PRRS virus. Held in Mitchell, SD, Pipestone, MN, and Independence, IA, the meetings discussed data the clinic’s research program has collected on the PRRS virus and how that data could be used to reduce future infections.
Since hiring Dr. Scott Dee as director of research more than one year ago, the clinic has expanded its research program to gather more data and answer questions for clients on what products to use and how to protect their herds against PRRS. “To get that done, we operate two research barns and are planning to build a third,” says Dr. Dee. “We also do a great deal of work on our clients’ farms.”

Some of the topics being studied include how certain vaccines work, how the PRRS virus is transmitted through the air, and how to stop entry by air filtration. “We’re doing genetic trials, nutrition trials, equipment trials, and others,” says Dr. Dee, adding, “Our research has a very diverse emphasis at this time.”

This summer’s meetings with clients and shareholders were the first since Dr. Dee became director of research. At these meetings, Dr. Dee, Dr. Spencer Wayne, and Dr. Joel Nerem discussed aerobiology of the PRRS virus, what has been learned about control and elimination of PRRS and the tools necessary, and future research plans.

Producers attending the meetings came away with three important ideas:

  1. PRRS has become a greater aerosol threat than ever before. Clinic research has proven the virus’s ability to spread through the air is greater today than has been observed in the past.
  2. All elements of the swine industry must collaborate in order to eradicate this disease. Individuals can’t do it. Neighbors and shareholders must work together on area-based control and elimination.
  3. Air filtration and use of vaccines are two key interventions for sustainable control and elimination of PRRS. Filtration prevents new infections of sow barns and vaccination of growing pigs controls spread of the virus in pig-dense regions.

“This was new information that we had never released to the public,” says Dr. Dee. “We wanted to share it first with our clients and shareholders so they would have access to it before anyone else.”

Clients and shareholders unable to attend these meetings may contact to request more details. For more on this research and how it applies to your own swine operation, visit with your Pipestone Veterinary Clinic herd veterinarian.

Read more about Pipestone Veterinary Clinic’s commitment to scientific research.