Researchers tackling porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome are constantly evaluating technologies for their effectiveness in controlling virus spread.

In a recent study, a PRRS modified-live vaccine virus was applied to two groups of different surfaces and materials commonly seen in a pork production unit, reports Elizabeth Ferry, Michigan State University Extension specialist, and co-coordinator of a PRRS Area Regional Control and Elimination project. One set of materials was exposed to UV254 radiation treatments for 24 hours, while a control group was exposed to incandescent light for that time.

Both treatments were swabbed at 10-minute intervals from zero to 60 minutes post application, as well as 24 hours after application. Each swab was tested for the quantity of PRRS virus RNA as well as the presence of viable PRRS virus.

The results show a significant reduction in viable PRRS virus in the treatment group, Ferry notes. At 24 hours after application the control group (exposed to incandescent light) showed a reduction in the quantity of PRRS virus RNA. For the materials receiving treatment via UV254 radiation, a reduction of viable virus was seen at 60 minutes, with none of the 12 samples remaining positive for the virus. In comparison, five out of 12 samples in the control group remained positive for the virus.

More significantly, all samples collected between 10 and 50 minutes after application that received UV254 treatment were found negative for viable PRRS virus, Ferry reports.

“The results seen from this study work to further the theory that UV254 can be an effective method to control the spread of the PRRS virus on materials commonly found in pork production,” she adds.