Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) in pigs

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome is pandemic in pigs. The syndrome causes significant losses in the pig industry due to reproductive disorders and growth retardation.

Terminology

Initially, several names were used to refer to this disease:

  • Mystery Swine Disease
  • Blue Ear Disease
  • Porcine Endemic Abortion and Respiratory Syndrome (PEARS)
  • Swine Infertility
  • Respiratory Syndrome (SIRS)

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory disease (PRRS) is the name now commonly used and is recognized by the World Organisation for Animal Health (O.I.E.).

Consequences of PRRS virus infection

The virus produces two different sets of clinical signs - reproductive and respiratory. Clinical signs are seen in different categories of pigs: pregnant sows, neonatal piglets, respective growing and finishing pigs.

The economic impact of PRRS in a finishing unit is substantial. In a breeding herd it is dramatic, but in general, only lasting for some month's till the breeding herd reaches a stabile situation. However, the reproductive problems may reoccur if the breeding herd becomes destabilised due to recycling of PRRSV from the finishing herd or excreting gilts.

cyanosis and oedema of ears

Cyanosis and oedema of the ears of a pig affected by PRRS

PRRS causes significant losses in the pig industry due to reproductive disorders and growth retardation.