News 3456 views last update:Mar 13, 2008

Modified PRRS-virus cause of outbreak in China

A strain of the PRRS-virus (blue abortion) is one of the key causes of the pig disease problems China has been struggling with since 2006.

According to a report by the Dutch Animal Health Service, which appeared in the Agrarisch Dagblad, both swine fever and circovirus played important roles along with PRRS in the outbreaks of animal diseases in China.

It is well-known that there are grave health problems among pigs in China and much deaths result from this - nearly 100% in young animals, which has also lead to a massive increase in pork prices.

The figures are shocking - tests revealed 25-50% of pigs - 30, 65 and 105 days old respectively died from the virus. In addition, many sows are giving birth to dead piglets which are infected with the virus.

Tom Duinhof, swine specialist at the Health Service, said that the virus found in these animals differs from the strain in Europe and the US. It is unclear, he states, whether the change in the PRRS-virus is the reason for the severe symptoms of the animals. The suspicion is that the change in the virus is recent and appeared in 2006.

Duinhof stated further that "we are dealing with an RNA-virus, one which changes quickly and which is difficult to counteract. In the Netherlands, we should remain on alert". Blue abortion appeared for the first time in 1991 in the country.

Related website:

• Gezondheidsdienst voor Dieren

For the latest pig news, subscribe here

Editor PigProgress

Or register to be able to comment.