Solution PRRS is always at the enterprise level
Effective PPRS control cannot be captured in an integrated approach or manual. This requires customization for a country and region. However, the real solution is always at the farm level, the decision of the PRRS Eradication Committee of Hungary. Is it really each to their own or is it something we are strong at?
We speak to István Szabó, a Hungarian veterinarian who has done a lot of research on PRRS and is the head of Hungary’s PRRS eradication team. “The tricky thing about PRRS is that the virus changes quickly, so there are many different field strains. The virus mutates so quickly that even reinfections on the same farm are often genetically slightly different,” says Szabo. “This makes PRRS incredibly elusive. If you want to get rid of the virus at all costs, the depop-repop method is undoubtedly the most effective approach.
Useful but harsh
Depop-repop (depopulation-repopulation) means: completely emptying the stables, thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting them and then restarting them. A very useful, but very harsh measure for the pig farmer and his staff. “Not just because of the temporary loss of income, but to lose all your animals at once and walk around an empty barn for a few weeks. So I understand very well that not everyone feels this approach, but we now have experience in Hungary that it is a very effective approach. You can be sure that you are free of the virus if you closely monitor the new animals you buy to make sure they are free of PBRS. Of course, it’s important to keep your biosecurity — especially your external biosecurity — in good order to prevent new introductions of the virus. With any other approach, there is always a high chance of reinfection.
The real solution is at the company level
Eliminating PRRS is in every pig farmer’s interest. For Szabó, joint ventures are definitely advisory, stressing that the real solution is always at the company level. “Each country, each region should have its own approach. In addition to PPRS, each area must deal with other conditions, diseases, and viruses that affect PRRS. So customization is necessary for a country and a region, but since a different strain of PRRS is circulating on almost every farm, the real solution is always at the farm level.
The most important thing is for each company to find out as much as possible about the virus, Szabó says. “Are there different virus strains within the company, and which strains are circulating within the region or region where the company is located? This information is critical to determining how you got the virus in your organization. It also makes it possible to take targeted measures to prevent it from happening again. If you do not choose the depop-repop method, it is very important to know more about the virus at play in your organization to eradicate it. When does PRRS overheat? At what age do animals become infected? All these things vary from company to company. This is why Istvan always emphasizes that there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with PRRS. “In each institution, infection occurs at different times, and that is often the key to the solution. Once you know when – at what age – infection occurs, you can anticipate it, for example by adjusting your vaccination program so that animals develop immunity in time.
Want to learn more about a PRRS-free control program at your company? Your company veterinarian and MSD Animal Health can support you with this. Read more about PRRS page.
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