April 21, 2022


USDA researching ways to combat PRRS



Researchers from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) are studying ways to combat Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), a major swine disease, and potentially save millions of dollars in the country's pork sector, RFD TV reported.


In order to find PRRS-resistant genes, the USDA is infecting newly weaned pigs and comparing them to non-infected piglets. Researchers have found that an infected mother's piglets are not always affected with the illness.


PRRS in swine causes reproductive failure, reduced development, and even mortality.


Dr Joan Lunney, USDA, said swine within the same litter of an infected sow may or may not have the virus, adding that they are studying how foetuses fight off the virus.


Researchers have discovered a gene that can be modified to make a swine resistant to PRRS, but it will be years before they know if immunity can be passed down through generations. PRRS is estimated to cost the industry more than US$650 million each year.


-      RFD TV