Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) has selected the recipients of the 2012 PRRS research awards at this week’s American Association of Swine Veterinarians Annual Meeting in Denver.

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) costs an estimated $664 million annually, and more research is needed to help reduce the economic impact of the disease to the swine industry.

To that end, BIVI provides three $25,000 awards annually to the winning proposals for PRRS research in North America. The competition is open to graduate students, academic researchers, company or private researchers and practicing veterinarians.

This year’s winners include Michael Murtaugh, DVM, University of Minnesota; Brad Leuwerke, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, MN; and Jeff Zimmerman, DVM, Iowa State University.

Murtaugh’s project involves a study on diagnostics to differentiate vaccine and field virus in PRRS elimination projects.

Leuwerke will study the effect of PRRS vaccination of growing pigs on the severity of respiratory disease caused by a co-infection of PRRS and influenza.

In his research project, Zimmerman will conduct a study to assess the probability of detecting PRRS in pen-based oral fluid samples from low-prevalence populations.

The objective of the projects is to examine practical methods of controlling, managing and possibly eradicating PRRS virus, according to BIVI.

An independent PRRS research review board selects the winning projects.