Researchers from the University of Missouri, Kansas State University and Genus plc have not just embarked on a game changer for combating porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus, but perhaps have discovered the actual genetic showstopper – PRRS-resistant pigs.
Since it was first detected in the United States in 1987, PRRS has cost the global hog industry dearly – an estimated $6 million per day worldwide. Raymond “Bob” Rowland, professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University and collaborator on the project says, “We have seen the disease two ways which has always been puzzling about the disease. We have seen it as infection storm in which it is just a train wreck that just wipes out a sow farm. We also have seen it as deaths by 1,000 cuts. Pigs do not perform as well. You have to keep them on feed a couple weeks longer to get them up to market weight. It is a disease that has been well-adapted to modern production.”
PRRS has always been a disease that can evolve with the changing management practices, which is the frustrating part. Rowland knew in the 1990s, based on his experience, it is a disease that would keep coming back over and over again. Over the years, the industry approach and perspective have changed from state of denial to tolerating the disease to finding a solution.
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Source: National Hog Farmer
by REL Waldman