Merck Animal Health Introduces New Vaccine to Protect against PRRS

On Sept. 9 Merck Animal Health announced the introduction of Prime Pac PRRS+, a vaccine for reducing clinical signs of reproductive disease in female breeding-age swine and respiratory disease in pigs three to four weeks of age and older due to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus.

PRRS continues to be one of the most costly diseases affecting swine producers today. Combining productivity costs and other animal health-related expenses, losses due to PRRS in the U.S. breeding and growing-pig herd is estimated at $664 million annually.

“Due to the economic impact and high prevalence of PRRS in the U.S. swine herd, vaccination is crucial,” says Karen Lehe, D.V.M., DACVPM, swine senior account manager, Merck Animal Health. “Vaccination stabilizes the herd’s PRRS immunity and reduces the potential of virus circulation. It also offers producers an option that better meets the needs of their changing production practices – a labeled 2 mL dose for sows, as well as a 1 mL dose for pigs.”

Results of several respiratory and reproductive challenge trials using both heterologous (different structure from vaccine virus) and homologous (same structure as virus used to make vaccine) PRRS strains demonstrated the safety and efficacy of Prime Pac PRRS+. Clinical trial results also showed that vaccination significantly reduced viremia and the clinical signs of PRRS, and provided four months duration of immunity, helping the herd remain as productive as possible.

“The vaccine helps mitigate the clinical signs, such as reproductive abnormalities in the breeding herd and high mortality rates in piglets, which take a substantial toll on the health of the herd and an operation’s productivity,” Lehe says. “Vaccination helps producers protect two significant areas of production, as well as a business’s bottom line.”

Prime Pac PRRS+ is available in convenient 20 mL and 100 mL packages, as well as a 600-sow/1,200-piglet-dose Bulk Pac. To learn more about Prime Pac PRRS+, visit www.PrimePacPRRS.com.