Podcast: Understanding reproductive failure in pigs

01-12-2022 | |
Podcast: Understanding reproductive failure in pigs

In collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim, this episode of ‘Meet the Expert’ features Prof Hans Nauwynck from the faculty of veterinary medicine at Ghent University in Belgium. He discussed reproductive failure in pigs, with particular attention on the viral component of the problem, highlighting PCV2, PRRS virus and parvovirus.

Pigs are Nauwynck’s favourite species, and he is particularly interested in the pathogenesis of very difficult, complex, or challenging viral diseases.

Reproductive failure, he says, is a broad term and includes problems with the embryo, general infertility, mummification, stillbirths, malformations, abortions, and issues during gestation. Nauwynck talks about the various viruses that can directly or indirectly cause reproductive failure or have an effect on related issues.

Parvovirus, PRRS and PCV2

Parvovirus, PRRS and PCV2 are among the most significant viruses related to reproductive failure. Ter Beek asks what producers would observe should any of these viruses enter the herd and how any of these viruses may have behaved differently in the past. What should a producer do if they suspect parvovirus, PRRS or PCV2 is present in the sows, and what diagnostics are suitable? Also, why is it important to know the different subtypes of PPV1, being 1a, 1b, 1c and 1d?

Questions from the audience listening were:

  • If a virus is mutating and new strains can occur all the time, what does that mean for vaccination protocols, and does it still make sense for vaccines that were developed a long time ago to be used?
  • Why does a vaccine based on 27 alike strains work better?
  • Does a similar problem with new strains emerging occur when thinking about PRRS and PCV2, or do different strains play less of a role?

In closing, Nauwynck shares his general recommendations to sow breeders who are preparing a strategy to protect their breeding herd. He highlights gilts the importance of the gilts and stresses that they should all be vaccinated.

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Natalie Kinsley Freelance journalist