Eradication of PRRSV from swine farms: Is it possible? Part 2

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Eradication of PRRSV from swine farms: Is it possible? Part 2

Several experts cover again in this post (part 2) the critical subject of PRRS virus eradication on swine farms.

Continuing with our previous post (part 1), several authorities in their respective fields share again their experience in preventing the spread of PRRSV within and between farms and the feasibility of eradicating this virus in large swine populations.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) is an economically significant disease of swine that has been estimated to cost the US and EU industry approximately $664 million a year and €100 per sow. Whilst the industry has made great strides in identifying, characterizing, and diagnosing the PRRS virus in the past few years, unfortunately there is still a lack of adequate knowledge on its epidemiology in swine to allow us to be sure how to proceed with an eradication program once a herd is infected.

We asked several PRRS experts what they think about eradication of PRRSV from swine farms:

Luc Defresne – Seaboard farms Pig Health Director, USA. 
“For specific farms in specific regions where you have a level of isolation that makes enough sense, you can pursue that goal. However, in a lot of areas we are dealing with, the pig density is too high and the level of transmission of that disease through aerosol or by other means is so great that we currently, with the tools we have we cannot eradicate.”

Quim Segalés – International Research Veterinary, CRESA Director, Spain.
“I guess it is feasible but it demands a lot of effort, effort from the farmers, from the veterinarians and it is a real collective effort to pursue. However, I believe we should go for it. There are a lot of countries nowadays thinking about medication as one of the major issues in order to export animals. So I believe that as a collective, and thinking as an economical activity, we should go for that”.

Alberto Stephano – Independent Mexico Consultant, Mexico.   
 “Well, I think that nowadays we have a lot of tools which can help us to eradicate the PRRS with different conventional methods, like biosecurity and many others which are very useful. Nevertheless, I think there are some tools which are lacking, to really think about a good and sustainable eradication program. Another point that I think is also important, is that we do not have a reference test for diagnostic. All the test we are using nowadays are useful, but there is not one in which you will relate the others.

Alberto Morillo – Independent International Consultant, Spain. 
“New vaccines, new disinfectants and new laboratory kits to analyze the disease, to analyze the antibodies, a new way of thinking should be on the way just to eradicate the disease.”

Enric Mateu, Professor University Autonoma Barcelona, Spain.
“At present, the goal of eradication on a broad basis over a broad geographical area is not feasible in most countries. And this is because, at least in Europe, we do not know exactly the epidemiology of PRRS in high dense areas. In the long term obviously, PRRS eradication can be a goal, considering that the economic cost of eradication is counter balanced by the efforts taken for these eradication programs”.

Carlos Lasagna – Grupo Martini Pig Health Director, Italy. 
“In the future, we need to reduce our production costs and PRRS is definitely a very costly disease. Moreover, when you are planning an eradication strategy for this disease at the same time, you could prepare the farm to be eradicated also for other diseases. This is something that is worthwhile". 

Scott Dee – International Research Veterinarian, Pipestone Veterinary Clinic, USA. 
“We may have to first think about how to control the PRRS virus and then move towards elimination at the proper time. But I think it is indeed the long term goal.”

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