Researchers are using genetics to fight against PRRS

Two piglets

Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, otherwise known as ‘PRRS’ is a costly disease for hog farmers with $500 million in reproductive losses in 2022.

Advancements in gene editing and protein modification have helped breed pigs naturally resistant to PRRS thanks to research out of Kansas State University alongside precision breeding and genetic company, Acceligen.

“Gene editing is one of the most powerful breeding tools that allow us to address some of the biggest challenges facing the pork industry and to create a more sustainable and ethical food system,” Tad Sonstegard, CEO of Acceligen said.

“The PRRS virus is endemic in this country. It’s common in all swine-producing states,” Daniel Linhares, a professor of veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State University said.

Most producers and their vets have vaccination programs to control production losses but no one has been able to rid the virus all together.

Researchers at Acceligen say these breakthroughs could create a better future for the animals and producers.

“At Acceligen, our goal is to use the best tools for breeding and selection to create a better future for animals, farmers, consumers, and the environment,” Sonstegard said.

Story via Courtney Love with Successful Farming

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