Swine Health Information Center Unveils PRRS Strain Evaluation Tool

Farmscape for March 18, 2024

Full Interview 11:02 Listen

The Swine Health Information Center has unveiled a new tool designed to allow pork producers to evaluate and compare the strains of PRRS circulating on their farms. The Swine Health Information Center’s monthly Domestic Swine Disease Monitoring Report, released as part of its March eNewsletter, introduces the new Swine Disease Reporting System BLAST, or Basic Local Alignment Search Tool for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Disease virus. SHIC Associate Director Dr. Lisa Becton says this is a unique tool that was developed to assess the different types of PRRS that are circulating in the industry.

Quote-Dr. Lisa Becton-Swine Health Information Center:
There was a need to have available a relatively simple and rapid method to compare the different PRRS stains with current data but also national data. It’s intended to help producers and veterinarians analyse their PRRS strains in relation to other strains that are being identified and see are they similar or different because this can also help in understanding where is the virus active in a certain area or region and then help solidify the need for biosecurity and other control measures. This is just another piece in being able to look at our nation’s herd health.

That’s something that, as of late, has really been done more by just word of mouth but this gives producers and veterinarians a public and open way that they can compare their isolates to others. It helps looking similarities between different strains of viruses that are detected in six of our veterinary diagnostic labs that participate. It can help identify what’s active in a region and is that virus spreading to other regions. It gives us another tool and another way that we can asses how PRRS is spreading, where it’s active and then how similar it is to other strains that are circulating in that area.

The Swine Health Information Center’s full domestic and global swine disease monitoring reports can be accessed at swinehealth.org.

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