Recently, the National Pork Board (NPB) facilitated a meeting of North American pork industry researchers, pharmaceutical and biological company representatives, veterinarians and diagnosticians to discuss the future of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) in swine production, according to a report from Harry Snelson, DVM, American Association of Swine Veterinarians.

The intent of this meeting was to develop a roadmap for future activities for PRRS to include:

  • Identifying key areas of focus for PRRS,
  • Identifying and outlining current activities of stakeholders, and
  • Creating a roadmap to assist in filling gaps in the knowledge and management of the PRRS virus.

Lisa Becton, DVM, director of swine health information and research at NPB, challenged the group to consider the question: “What should the overall objective be for PRRS?”

The discussion focused on how best to deal with the disease. What should be done differently for PRRS than what has been done in the past? More specifically, the question was posed as to how to better address the production impact and continue to make measured progress in the fight against PRRS.

Different strategies were discussed as to how to allocate resources and activities for PRRS in the future. One idea centered around the potential development of a nationally coordinated control program, while another perspective considered managing PRRS within a market-driven model that focuses on elimination where feasible and control of PRRS when elimination is not feasible.

The working group decided on the following statement as an agreed upon objective for dealing with PRRS:  The short-term objective (to accomplish in less than three years) is to reduce the impact PRRS has on producers, with a long-term objective to assess the feasibility and financial acceptability for elimination to producers.

The group also identified four key areas of focus which include:

  1. Education and outreach
  2. Manage immunity
  3. Manage exposure
  4. Measurement (metrics and methods)

To read the complete meeting summary including a thorough discussion of the four key areas of focus click here.