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New vaccine to protect against PRRS

Merck Animal Health announced the introduction of Prime Pac PRRS+, a vaccine for reducing clinical signs of reproductive disease in female breeding-age swine and respiratory disease in pigs 3 to 4 weeks of age and older due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSv).

PRRS continues to be one of the most costly diseases affecting swine producers today. Combining productivity costs and other animal health-related expenses, losses due to PRRS in the US breeding and growing-pig herd is estimated at $664 million annually.

"Due to the economic impact and high prevalence of PRRS in the US swine herd, vaccination is crucial," says Karen Lehe, D.V.M., DACVPM, swine senior account manager, Merck Animal Health. "Vaccination stabilises the herd's PRRS immunity and reduces the potential of virus circulation. It also offers producers an option that better meets the needs of their changing production practices – a labeled 2 mL dose for sows, as well as a 1 mL dose for pigs."

Results of several respiratory and reproductive challenge trials using both heterologous (different structure from vaccine virus) and homologous (same structure as virus used to make vaccine) PRRSv strains demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Prime Pac PRRS+. Clinical trial results also showed that vaccination significantly reduced viremia and the clinical signs of PRRSv, and provided four months duration of immunity, helping the herd remain as productive as possible.

"The vaccine helps mitigate the clinical signs, such as reproductive abnormalities in the breeding herd and high mortality rates in piglets, which take a substantial toll on the health of the herd and an operation's productivity," says Dr. Lehe. "Vaccination helps producers protect two significant areas of production, as well as a business's bottom line."


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