SHIC Warns of Second Wave of Highly Virulent 144 PRRS Variant

Farmscape for June 8, 2021

Full Interview 13:17 Listen

The Swine Health Information Center is advising pork producers of a second wave of a new highly pathogenic strain of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome. For the past six to eight months the Swine Heath Information Center has been tracking a new highly pathogenic 144 PRRS variant. SHIC Executive Director Dr. Paul Sundberg says, unlike other 144 variants circulating in the countryside, this new 1C line is especially virulent and has caused a lot of problems in the U.S. Midwest and upper Midwest.

Clip-Dr. Paul Sundberg-Swine Health Information Center:
Diagnostic labs are able to find, they are able to identify it so that’s really not an issue. We’re looking at transmission issues and studying that but it doesn’t seem to have an abnormal transmission pattern. There are some outbreaks in some isolated farms that we question. We’re looking at rapid response teams that may be able to get out onto those farms and help to try to identify pathways of entry onto farms. The pathogenicity of the virus itself is what is drawing the most interest because it causes very severe disease in all phases of production so that’s something that is notable. It’s PRRS but it’s in all phases of production and does cause disease.
The prevention that we can see now under further study, what we think now is that the prevention of it is not unlike other PRRS strains. You have to pay attention to biosecurity, you have to keep it out of your farm with all of the regular things you do and, if you get it, it looks like it is an issue of shutting down the herd, and treating it like another PRRS outbreak. There’s a lot of things that are similar with this PRRS strain. The main difference is the pathogenicity and the severity.

Dr. Sundberg encourages producers to review their biosecurity protocols, make sure they are up to date and make sure they’re implemented.
Further details are available through the Swine Health Information Center at

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