In early May 2011, top scientists and field practitioners came together in Bangkok, Thailand to present their latest findings on PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) at the fifth Asian PRRSpective Symposium held by Boehringer Ingelheim.
The symposium provided updates on evolution of highly pathogenic PRRS in Asia and strategies to better control the disease that is spreading across Asia. Pig producers, veterinarians, academicians and government officers from across Asia took part in the symposium, which is held annually in different venues in the region. This year’s edition did host nearly 400 delegates, which makes it the most successful Asian PRRSpective ever.
Immunological control of PRRS
Prof Michael Murtaugh (photograph), a globally respected immunologist from the University of Minnesota, USA, opened the scientific session with a comprehensive insight into challenges and progress in immunological control of PRRS. He concluded that up to now only modified live PRRS vaccines were shown to induce a sound immune response, which is the foundation of solid protection against PRRS.
Two regional experts, Prof Yang (China) and Prof To (Vietnam), provided a good overview towards the highly pathogenic PRRS (HP-PRRS) situation in China and Vietnam. HP-PRRS caused massive losses and huge economic damages. One of the key speakers was Dr Kelly Lager, Veterinary Medical Officer of the National Animal Disease Center, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Dr Lager’s team has challenged vaccinated and non-vaccinated animals with an HP-PRRS isolate from China. He recognised that pigs vaccinated with the company's vaccine Ingelvac PRRS MLV showed a significant reduction of virus load and clinical signs due to PRRSv. This independent study is yet another proof, that the vaccine delivers effective cross-protection against the emerging diversity of PRRSv (including HP-PRRSv).
The practitioners’ session was opened by Dr Anan Lertwilai and Dr Watchara Jirasuttisarn (both Vietnam), who presented on behalf of the CP Group. The CP Group is the largest (and among the most modern) pig producer in Asia. He trained the audience in practical PRRS prevention and control strategies from a large integrators perspective.
The following presentations held by experienced veterinarians from the Philippines (Dr Galban, picture), Thailand (Dr Thongmak) and the USA (Dr Gillespie) shared their rich experience with PRRS and provided 'hands on' recommendations to an efficient control of PRRS. The intense Q&A session showed the high interest in practical solutions for this devastating disease.
The animal health company, headquartered in Ingelheim, Germany, is eager to provide a platform for knowledge exchange and practical discussions. The Asian PRRSpective contributes to this commitment and based on their feedback, the attending swine experts enjoyed the exhausting but fruitful event.
(By Jitjaroen Channarong, Bernd Große Liesner and Dirk N. Rauleder)