In swine herds ¿Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS)¿ occurs worldwide and causes enormous economic losses. The causal agent is a single stranded RNA virus belonging to Arteriviridae.
Economic losses in breeding and finishing units are mainly connected with decreased productivity and higher incidence of pneumonia in weaning piglets and finishing pigs as well. Poor productivity and an increased use of chemotherapeutics for treatment of bacterial diseases cause significant higher costs.
The treatment of this viral disease by means of antibiotics is not successful at all. The implementation of vaccination programmes has shown milder clinical course of the disease, reduction of medication costs, but an elimination of the virus was rarely achieved. Different programmes of virus eradication and hygienic measurements respectively were quite successful, but in connection with high costs due to loss of animals and additional general expenses.
The aim of this study was to produce PRRSV-Ab negative piglets in 3 PRRSV-Ab positive breeding units, which was based on practical experience, no interruption of the production scheme and low economic costs.
This concept comprised following items:
- Use of a MLV-vaccine-Porcilis PRRS
- Stabilization of the breeding herd by closure for a period of 5 months
- Improvement of management
- Integration of PRRSV-antibody negative gilts
- Introduction of a strict monitoring programme for breeding sows and piglets In this study comprising 3 breeding units it was shown, that in a period of 6 months 71 PRRSV-negative breeding sows were introduced in a PRRSV-positive herd without initiating an outbreak of this disease.
According to the PRRSV-eradication of an Upper Austrian breeding unit (VOGLMAYR 2005) and the following study of stabilisation of three piglet producing units, it was shown that PRRSV may be controlled in breeding as well as finishing herds. For the future all 3 units should become PRRSV- and Ab-negativ because of remontation.