A new same-day PRRS testing service from the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine can help producers verify that breeding boars test negative for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. It will help detect and control the disease more quickly.

Minnesota is the first veterinary diagnostic lab in the nation to provide high-volume, same-day turnaround. The service came in response to requests from Minnesota boar-stud operators that need to prove that their boar semen has tested negative for the PRRS virus.

The next-day service is significantly faster than the three to four days previously required to perform the test. The service is available to boar-stud operations nationwide.

“PRRS virus is shed in boar semen even before there are clinical signs, so boar-stud operations need evidence that the product they ship to buyers has been tested and found negative for PRRS virus,” says Jim Collins, DVM, director of the Minnesota veterinary diagnostic lab.

PRRS is the No. 1 infectious disease affecting the pork industry. The disease spreads rapidly, and while there’s still much to learn about its transmission, researchers do know that it’s transmitted in boar semen and from hog-to-hog contact.

Two things make the same-day service possible:

  • First, the veterinary diagnostic lab modified the delivery time so samples arrive earlier, and it adjusted staffing to accommodate late-night testing.
  • Second, the lab’s online result-reporting service was enhanced. Rather than wait for a written or faxed report, customers can retrieve results within eight hours through the lab’s secure Web site. Using a unique password, they access the report, print it and have the option of enclosing it with the semen shipment for the buyer’s review.
  • This online reporting service lets producers and veterinarians view individual test results or to retrospectively view results from all of the samples they’ve submitted.
  • “Our Web site provides real-time test results along with links to key treatment information 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Collins. “We’re committed to converting diagnostic data into information that veterinarians and producers can use to act more quickly and better manage their operations.”

For more information, go to www.cvm.umn.edu