Kansas State study finds new vaccine effective against deadly viral disease affecting swine

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- Researchers from Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine have completed a study showing that a newly-developed vaccine is effective against a deadly viral disease that is affecting swine herds in Kansas.

The disease, most widely known as porcine circovirus associated disease, was first recognized in Kansas swine herds in November 2005. The disease complex is an immunosuppressive condition associated with porcine circovirus type 2 or PCV2.

Clinical signs of the disease in pigs include extreme and sudden weight loss, immune suppression, labored breathing, jaundice and diarrhea. More severe cases of the syndrome are characterized by skin lesions, neurological deterioration, kidney failure and eventually death. Swine producers with infected herds have experienced a death loss of 20 percent to 40 percent in finisher pigs, which are pigs between 10 weeks to 20 weeks of age. This has resulted in a devastating economic loss.

The researchers began a field trial in summer 2006, testing a vaccine in commercial development. The researchers, all from the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology, were Bob Rowland, Dick Hesse, Steve Dritz, Jerome Nietfeld and Kyle Horlen. The field trial, directed by Dritz and Horlen, was conducted on a family-owned swine farm in northeast Kansas and concluded in January with promising results.

The study showed a 50 percent reduction in mortality of vaccinated pigs compared to non-vaccinated pigs. Mortality was 7 percent for vaccinated pigs compared to 17 percent for non-vaccinated pigs. Vaccinated pigs also experienced an increase in growth. On average, they were 20 pounds heavier than non-vaccinated pigs of the same age.

"Results from this study suggest that the tested vaccine is effective in controlling the PCV2 associated disease in pigs," said Rowland, a virologist and associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

The re

Contact: Raymond Rowland
Kansas State University

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