Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome is the most significant disease problem facing the pork industry worldwide. In the United States alone, PRRS is estimated to have an economic impact between $560 million and $762 million annually on pork producers. Yet nearly 20 years after PRRS was first identified, there has been little success in developing economical and effective control strategies for this highly variable viral disease.

On June 1-2, researchers at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine convened a group of 22 national experts in PRRS, virology, immunology and vaccinology to discuss the state of current knowledge about PRRS vaccination. The group included clinical veterinarians, academic researchers and vaccine industry scientists.

Among the results, the group prepared a white paper that outlines the needs and situation facing the industry related to PRRS. This represents a significant advance in achieving scientific consensus on the knowledge gaps that must be addressed in order to produce successful vaccination strategies to control the impact of PRRS, say the experts. If future research proceeds along suggested pathways, the group agreed that effective vaccine strategies could reach the market within the next 5 to 10 years.

Key areas for future research include identifying the mechanisms by which the PRRS virus causes disease and the components of the virus that play a role in inducing protective immunity.

It is hoped that the white paper will serve as a guide for future PRRS virus vaccine research.

Source: University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine