A number of research institutions across the country have received significant funding to find answers for porcine circovirus-associated disease (PCVAD) in 2007.

The Minnesota Rapid Agriculture Response Fund has approved $300,000 for University of Minnesota researchers to combat the disease in the state.

Funds will enable researchers to investigate the epidemiology or distribution of PCVAD infections in boar studs, and determine the role of non-porcine circovirus factors in causing PCVAD. Researchers will develop objective monitoring procedures using diagnostic testing and sequencing, boar stud serum, semen and blood.

“Boar studs have enormous potential to impact the health of the entire swine industry. Therefore, they warrant urgent investigation to understand if circovirus can be transmitted in the semen and, if so, how frequently transmission occurs,” says Trevor Ames, chair of the Veterinary Population Medicine Department at the University of Minnesota. “By concentrating efforts on understanding how to stop the spread of the virus in semen, University of Minnesota researchers will potentially save the Minnesota swine industry millions of dollars.”

University of Minnesota Leman chair Peter Davies, DVM, is project coordinator.

More information on this effort can be found at www.rapidresponse.umn.edu.

The National Pork Board has committed about $630,000 to researchers in the United States and Canada on more than a dozen projects on PCVAD.

The pork checkoff-funded efforts will look at the development of a marker vaccine, compare strain differences in PCV2 outbreaks in Canada, characterize severe cases of the disease in Kansas, compare clinical and subclinical infections, determine the role of boar semen in transmission, evaluate breed differences, study severe cases of circovirus-associated finishing mortality and characterize the virus in serum and disease expression in different populations of pigs.