New Study to Update Previous PRRSV Research


Dr. Derald Holtkamp, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-9611,
Dave Gieseke, College of Veterinary Medicine Communications,
(515) 294-4257,

January 5, 2016

AMES, Iowa — Swine researchers in Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine are continuing to study the economic impact that porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) has on United States pork producers.

The three-year, National Pork Board funded study is directed by Dr. Derald Holtkamp, associate professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine, and relooks at a 2010 study he and others released in 2012.

That study set the total cost of productivity losses due to PRRSV in the U.S. national breeding and growing-pig herd at an estimated $664 million annually.

PRRSV causes reproductive failure in breeding stock and respiratory tract illness in young pigs. This includes late-term abortions and still-born births in breeding stock and growth performance and overall levels of health in growing pigs, causing death potentially early in life. PRRSV however does affect all ages of pigs.

The National Pork Board’s goal is by 2020 to “deploy tools and programs to decrease the annual economic impact of PRRSV by 20 percent” against the previous Holtkamp study.

Budgeting models with standardized expenses and prices used to estimate the cost of PRRSV in the 2010 study will be used to update the cost this time around. Updates will be made semi-annually with a network of collaborating production companies recruited to provide production data and PRRSV status histories.

Holtkamp anticipates the economic impact of PRRSV may be declining.

“One of the things that is happening is that the industry’s efforts are reducing the incidence of outbreaks and the level of the virus that is in the sow herds as efforts to stabilize sow herds are more successful,” he said.