Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome costs the U.S. pork industry an estimated $664 million annually and more research is needed.

To assist in that effort, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. provides annual awards to PRRS-targeted research. At this year’s American Association of Swine Veterinarians’ meeting in Denver, BIVI announced its 2012 Advancement in PRRS Research Award Program winners.

For the past 10 years, BIVI has contributed nearly $900,000 to fund more than 30 separate PRRS research projects. This year’s contribution is $25,000 each to three recipients from North America. Here are this year’s recipients:

  • Brad Leuwerke, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minn., will study the effect of PRRS vaccination of growing pigs on the severity of respiratory disease caused by a co-infection of PRRS and influenza.
  • Mike Murtaugh, University of Minnesota, will study diagnostics in order to differentiate vaccine and field virus responses in PRRS-elimination projects.
  • Jeff Zimmerman, DVM, Iowa State University, will assess the probability of detecting PRRS in pen-based oral fluid samples from low-prevalence populations.

The ultimate objective for BIVI-funded research is to examine practical methods of controlling, managing and possibly eradicating the PRRS virus. The projects are designed to be completed within a year and focus on applicable and actionable results.

An independent PRRS Research Review Board selects the winning research projects. This year 30 projects were presented to the board for consideration.