U of M team seeks a more effective PRRS vaccine


Janelle Atyeo, Ag Update

Jun 2, 2021


New work in vaccinations may help protect pigs against various strains of one highly infectious disease.


Researchers at the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine are working to better understand antibodies that protect pigs from porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS).


“It’s an important pathogen worldwide,” said Dr. Cheryl Dvorak, the study’s primary investigator. “(Pigs with) previous exposure and vaccination are only partially protected.”


Vaccination for PRRS has been around since the early 1990s, but the virus has a high mutation rate. A vaccine will protect only against closely related strains of the virus. Yet some pigs, however rarely, have antibodies that give them broader protection from the virus.


That’s where Dvorak and her colleagues have focused their recent research. Starting with...