No one knows better than Shaun Greiner the devastation porcine circovirus associated diseases (PCVAD) can cause pork producers.

Greiner markets more than 12,000 hogs per year in Washington County, Iowa, and has battled PCVAD for the better part of two years. At times it seemed like a losing battle, but that was before he started using Intervet’s Circumvent™ PCV vaccine as part of his herd health protocols to control PCVAD.

“Circumvent PCV allowed my business to survive,” Greiner says. “Without the vaccine, I would not have been able to continue raising hogs.”

For 18 months to two years, Greiner experienced 15 percent to 25 percent death loss in the finishers, with one group showing a 35 percent death loss. Greiner tried everything he could think of including raising the temperature inside the barns, feeding blood plasma, changing disinfectants and using a variety of feed additives –  but nothing seemed to work.

Regardless of what Greiner did, about 21 days after the pigs were placed in the finisher his pigs got sick and nearly all of them expressed signs of the disease. Then in June of 2006, Greiner vaccinated 75 percent of his herd with Intervet’s conditionally licensed PCV2 vaccine (now sold under a full license as Circumvent™ PCV). The difference was striking.

“We saw a phenomenal reduction in death loss in the first few groups we treated,” says Greiner. “Our death loss dropped to between 6 to 8 percent through some pretty nasty PRRS disease issues. Of course, when we went from 30 percent mortality to 8 percent, we were ecstatic.”

Greiner’s pigs are performing better than their historical average prior to clinical PCVAD, indicating that circovirus has probably been a sub-clinical disease challenge for some time. While disease challenges persist on Greiner’s farm, Circumvent PCV controls the PCVAD. In the first several groups Greiner vaccinated with Circumvent PCV, he would leave 10 pigs untreated as a control group. The untreated pigs had about 50 percent death loss four turns in a row. At that point, Greiner was convinced of the benefits of Circumvent PCV and began treating all his pigs with the vaccine as availability allowed.

Nearly as important as the reduction in death loss is the reduction in morbidity. Greiner says his pigs are performing better than before, with less weight variation in the finishing barn and fewer light and cull pigs. In addition, when Greiner has had pigs posted recently that have died, circovirus has not shown up in the tissue samples.

Greiner says that vaccinating pigs at the 21-day mark, right after weaning, is critical to getting the best protection possible from Circumvent PCV. Circumvent PCV can be used in pigs as young as three weeks of age. For optimal immune response, pigs should receive two 2 cc (milliliter) doses given by intramuscular injection, three weeks apart with vaccinations suggested at three and six weeks of age.           

Greiner says, in his experience with killed virus vaccines, two doses are more effective than single-dose vaccines. He also notes that the two-dose vaccine appears to be more popular with the producers he talks to. Greiner says Circumvent PCV has more than paid for itself on his farm.

“We have been getting close to $20 per head return on our investment from Circumvent PCV,” says Greiner. “I wouldn’t be in pork production today without this vaccine.”

Circumvent is a trademark of Intervet Inc. or an affiliate.

© 2007 Intervet Inc. All rights reserved.