Use of processing fluid samples for longitudinal monitoring of PRRS virus in herds undergoing virus elimination

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This was an observational study that prospectively followed 29 breeding herds for 65 weeks in the U.S.A. that became infected with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv). The herds operated in a four-week batch farrowing system and adopted a load-close-expose strategy using a modified-live virus vaccine to achieve PRRSv stability. The purpose of this study was to describe time to stability (TTS) based on RT-qPCR testing for PRRSv RNA on processing fluid samples in herds undergoing PRRSv elimination, after implementing herd closure and mass exposure to a PRRS modified-live virus (MLV) vaccine. For the purpose of this study, stability was defined as consistently producing PRRSv-negative pigs. Study herds were monitored until two consecutive piglet batches tested PRRSv RT-qPCR negative, then 30 due-to-wean piglet sera from the second batch were tested for PRRSv RNA by RT-qPCR. Once the farm re-opened, sera from incoming naïve gilts were tested for anti-PRRSv antibodies by ELISA at 30- and 60-days post-entry to confirm negative status to PRRSv. Day zero was the day of whole-herd exposure to a commercial PRRS vaccine virus. Twenty-eight of 29 herds (96.55%) achieved TTS within the study period. TTS ranged from 18 to 55 weeks with a median of 27 weeks. Serum from due-to-wean piglets was collected on 28 farms, of which 26 (92.85%) obtained PRRSv RT-qPCR-negative results on the first collection. At the end of the observational period, 16 sow farms successfully re-introduced PRRSv-naïve gilts with no detected serologic response. In conclusion, the median time to achieve TTS in breeding herds being operated in a four-week batch farrowing system undergoing PRRSv elimination using load-close-expose with attenuated virus vaccine was 27 weeks. Also, processing fluid-based monitoring of breeding herds under PRRS elimination was practical and reliable to assess PRRSv stability.




Trevisan, G., Jablonski, E., Angulo, J., Lopez, W. A., & Linhares, D. C. L. (2019). Use of processing fluid samples for longitudinal monitoring of PRRS virus in herds undergoing virus elimination. Porcine Health Management, 5(1).

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