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US - Controlling swine diseases such as Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS), Porcine Circovirus Associated Disease (PCV2) and Mycoplasma pneumonia (M. hyo) is one of the the key challenges for producers and veterinarians. During the 2012 World Pork Expo, swine experts discussed the impacts of these diseases, the latest research and effective ways to manage respiratory diseases on modern production farms.

John Waddell, DVM, Professional Services Veterinarian for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., discussed the economic impacts of respiratory diseases have on farms.

“These diseases have drastic economic impacts on the swine industry; the PRRS virus alone is estimated to cost the US swine industry $664 million annually,” explained Dr Waddell.

He suggests using a five-step process to help manage respiratory diseases:

  1. identify desired goals
  2. determine current status of farm
  3. understand current constraints
  4. develop solution options, and
  5. implement and monitor preferred solutions.

“Managing these respiratory diseases is critical for producers and there is not one solution that fits for all the respiratory diseases. Implementing the five-step animal health model can lead to increased awareness of the specific pathogens involved in respiratory disease issues within a system. Using the five-step process can also allow for a proper intervention to be implemented to best control the problem within a specific system," said Dr Waddell.

Darin Madson, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Assistant Professor of Pathology at Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, presented the latest research findings on PCV2 in-utero transfer results in viraemic neonates and the role of vaccination. Dr Madson explained that PCV2 infection can manifest as a reproductive failure or be subclinical foetal infection. and that in-utero PCV2 infection is more common than clinical reproductive disease.

He said: “Research indicates that dam vaccination decreases reproductive diseases, in-utero infection and secretion of virus though milk and colostrum. Also, research shows dam vaccination improves herd reproductive parameters, piglet weaning weights and has an effect on nursery/grow-finish mortality."

Greg Cline, DVM, Swine Technical Manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc., discussed 3FLEX, the company’s innovative combination vaccine. 3FLEX is the first USDA-approved, three-way combination package, mixed and administered as a single shot for pigs of three weeks age and older.

“Field studies have been conclusive; the 3FLEX vaccine mixture administered as a single 2-ml intramuscular injection, effectively protected pigs without interference,” said Dr Cline.

"There are many benefits to using 3FLEX. Using a combination vaccine saves times and money by reducing labour costs associated with handling and treating pigs multiple times, reduces the number of injection sites and reduces animal stress,” explained Dr Cline.