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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Lunney, Joan
item Rowland, Rrr - KSU MANHATTAN,KS

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: June 24, 2008
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: There are several major US efforts to address swine respiratory diseases. These include the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) funded PRRS coordinated agricultural project (PRRS CAP), the US National Pork Board (NPB) funded PRRS Host Genetic Consortium (PHGC), and the US national Swine Respiratory Disease NC229 project plans. These are not stand alone efforts but incorporate the integration of activities within the PRRS community of researchers, practitioners, producers and educators. And all are open to participation by international research collaborators. This abstract will summarize key research areas supported by each effort. The USDA in 2008 awarded funding of $4.8 million for PRRS CAP; Dr. RRR Rowland at Kansas State University serves as the Project Director. The activities under PRRS CAP are divided into 5 objectives, which represent a comprehensive road map to PRRS control and elimination. The first three objectives focus on the prevention and control tools, and knowledge needed to support scientists, practitioners and producers. A fourth objective is devoted to Extension and will apply existing and new technologies in regional elimination demonstration projects. The fifth objective is devoted to education and outreach directed toward the internal community of scientists and veterinarians involved in research, and the external stakeholder producers, consumers, and the swine industry at large.The 5 PRRS CAP Objectives are: 1) Develop improved PRRSV Vaccines by understanding PRRS viral structure, effects on immunity, and mechanisms of heterologous protection; 2) Characterize ecologic and epidemiologic factors that will facilitate the control of PRRS; 3) Characterize host factors that contribute to disease resistance and susceptibility; 4) Develop innovative approaches to on-farm control and elimination of PRRSV and identify factors associated with success and barriers to progress; and 5) Develop programs for the education and outreach to scientists, producers and veterinarians. PRRS CAP funding opportunities are now open. As part of the collaborative and integrative nature of the PRRS CAP, it is expected that each funded research project will be multi-disciplinary and incorporate the coordinated activities of at least three institutions (entities). Every participant in a funded PRRS CAP project will be required to follow the guiding principles within PRRS CAP 2; including sharing of reagents, clones, proteins, viruses, antibodies, constructs, etc. The CAP project description, request for applications and forms can be downloaded at The deadline for receipt of research applications is August 20, 2008. It is recommended that interested applicants contact Bob Rowland, Project Director at,, or 785/532-4631, prior to submitting an application for research funding.The US National Pork Board (NPB) funded the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium (PHGC) late in 2007. The PHGC is an effort to assess the role of genetics in determining pig resistance/susceptibility to PRRSV infection and related pathology and growth effects. The plan is to use a Nursery Pig Model to assess pig resistance/susceptibility to primary PRRSV infection. Groups of hundreds of piglets at ~28 days age will be infected with a well characterized PRRSV isolate. Pigs will be followed for 42 days after infection to determine whether and how quickly the PRRS virus is cleared and how the infection influences growth. Blood and other samples as well as weight data will be collected regularly for phenotypic data. Relevant tissue samples will be collected at kill. All samples will be barcoded and sent to appropriate testing labs where phenotypic data on viral levels and immune responses will be assessed. Data will be collated into a Central Consortium relational database that will be designed as part of the project. DNA will be prepared from every pig for genotyping. The plan is to perform testing on thousands of pigs so that genetic responses can be evaluated statistically and QTL identified.The PHGC is a Consortium whose philosophy is based on open data and sample sharing: Samples collected by the PHGC will be available for qualified researchers to do further testing, e.g., through later funding of this Consortium, through PRRS CAP initiative or other grant funds. “End users” determine the experimental design. Shared information for all data will be available through a secure Consortium database. The first year’s funding for the PHGC is being used primarily to start data collection on PRRSV infections that should be started this summer and to develop the Consortium relational database. Currently the US National Pork Board is soliciting research proposals directed at several areas related to swine health, including PRRS. The deadline for receipt of applications is July 15, 2008. The request for proposals and additional information are found at Contact Lisa Becton,, 515/223-2791.The final major initiative is the NC-229 project which was founded in 1999 as a vehicle to facilitate progress in PRRS virus research by promoting collaboration and communication to address research problems that cannot be answered through traditional, single-investigator-initiated grants. The complexities of the problems addressed by NC-229 require a multi-state, multi-disciplinary, and multi-investigator research approach. In 2008 scientists met at BARC to plan the second 5-year renewal of NC229. The new direction will be “Detection and control of PRRSV and emerging viral diseases of swine” with 3 major Objectives: 1) Elucidate the mechanisms of host-pathogen(s) interactions; 2) Understand ecology and epidemiology of PRRSV and emerging viral diseases of swine; and 3) Develop effective and efficient approaches for detection, prevention and control of PRRSV and emerging viral diseases of swine. The NC229 project is open to all international collaborators. Scientists interested in joining this effort should contact the NC229 Writing Committee Coordinators, Joan Lunney and X.J. Meng.All participants are welcome to participate in the International PRRS Symposium meeting which will be held in Chicago on December 5 and 6, 2008. The Abstract submission deadline is August 25, 2008. Instructions and registration are found at

Last Modified: 8/28/2016