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Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), announces the 2013 recipients of its annual Advancement in PRRS Research Awards. This year, BIVI awarded $75,000 to support three separate studies by independent swine researchers and practitioners in their investigations of novel ways to diagnose, control and eliminate this costly swine disease.

The selected PRRS studies focus on three important areas of disease research: an evaluation of electrostatic ionization technology to reduce PRRS infections; PRRS virus infection in fetal implant sites; and the effects of PRRS MLV vaccine on antimicrobial efficacy. Over the last 10 years of the program, the BIVI-sponsored PRRS research awards have been critical in the development of less costly, more reliable diagnostic testing and sampling processes, as well as identifying more effective biosecurity, risk assessment and intervention strategies. In the last decade, the company has contributed $762,000 through the PRRS research awards to fund 31 separate research projects.

From the PRRS research proposals submitted for the 2013 awards consideration, the three following recipients were selected. They and their research proposals were recognized in March at the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV) Conference in San Diego, California:

  • Gil Patterson, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota - A study to evaluate electrostatic particle ionization technology to reduce the risk of PRRS infection.
  • Susan Detmer, DVM, PhD, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada - To conduct a pathologic evaluation of PRRS virus infection in fetal implantation sites.
  • Locke Karriker, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVPM, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa – A study on the use of PRRS MLV vaccine to preserve antimicrobial efficacy during PRRS challenge.

The three research proposals were selected based on established criteria that include potential for economic impact to the swine industry; originality and scientific quality; and probability of success in completing the study.

Incoming AASV President Matt Anderson, DVM, with Suidae Health and Production in Algona, Iowa, served on this year’s PRRS Research Review Board. He noted that the results from 10 years of the BIVI-funded PRRS research studies have had an immediate and positive impact on swine farms across North America.

“As a practicing veterinarian working with swine producers in our area, it’s been rewarding to see the results that have come from these research studies and the wealth of knowledge that we’ve gained about the epidemiology of PRRS,” Dr Anderson added. “Without ongoing collaborative research efforts that bring together clinical researchers, academia, field veterinarians and producers, it would take much longer to find effective ways to prevent the spread of the disease and, hopefully, lead to its eradication.”

In addition, the PRRS Research Review Board recommended additional awards be given to the recipients of the 2011 research awards, whose studies have been completed and the results presented and published. These individuals were also recognized at the AASV meeting and received monetary awards for their completed research work:

  • Darwin Reicks, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota, for his study on the effects of PRRS MLV vaccine given by exposure to saturated ropes.
  • Scott Dee, DVM, MS, PhD, Pipestone Vet Clinic, Pipestone, Minnesota, for his study to re-evaluate slurry as a reservoir and risk factor for PRRS virus survival and spread between farms.
  • Bob Morrison, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota, for his study on the infectivity of PRRS virus in pig manure at different temperatures.
  • Jim Lowe, DVM, MS, Lowe Consulting Ltd., Albers, Illinois, for his study on PRRS virus contamination of mortality storage areas as a potential source of PRRS virus infection in high and low dense swine production regions.

In addition to Dr Anderson, members of the PRRS Research Review Board included: Bill Mengeling, DVM, PhD, Iowa State University/NADC (retired), Ames, Iowa; Montse Torremorell, DVM, PhD, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota; Tim Loula, DVM, Swine Vet Center, St. Peter, Minnesota; Luc Dufresne, DVM, Seaboard Foods, Shawnee Mission, Kansas; and Daryl Olsen, DVM, Audubon-Manning Veterinary Clinic, Audubon, Iowa.