What is in this article?:
To better understand the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus and develop solutions to reduce disease losses for producers, the National Pork Board Swine Health Committee committed checkoff funds in the form of the PRRS Initiative Research. So far, the PRRS Initiative Research has funded 123 projects totaling more than $10 million. The Pork Checkoff has just published a 38-page report, “PRRS Initiative Research, 2004-2011,” that contains key findings and applications for PRRS based on the research funded during this period.
As part of these PRRS research efforts, a major economic evaluation of PRRS elimination was completed and published in 2005. It estimated the annual cost of PRRS at $560 million based mainly on losses to the breeding herd. A second effort, published in 2011, calculated losses to both the breeding herd and growing pigs, encompassed related costs, and evaluated various PRRS cleanup protocols that are discussed elsewhere in this issue. Total annual losses were estimated at nearly $1 billion.
The final PRRS research initiative involved genetic resistance to disease. Research has identified genetic components involved in how well pigs respond to PRRS infection and genetic markers that affirm producers can co-select for a lower PRRS viral load and improved weight gain. Researchers better understand how additional phenotypes affect PRRS-infected pigs and PRRS viral diversity.
This knowledge on genetic resistance is producing advancements in genotypes and phenotypes that can predict susceptibility and/or resistance to PRRS virus utilizing broad collaboration of resources across the pig industry.