Circovirus: Most Infectious Disease Affecting Swine Industry

Terry Steinhart, swine field specialist


According to the ASL-R685 Swine Research report on Experimental Reproduction of Severe Disease in CD/CD Pigs Co-infected with PRRSV and Type 2 Porcine, Circovirus is the most economically significant infectious disease affecting the swine industry in the US. It is reported that outbreaks were characterized by a high incidence of abortions (10 to 60 percent).
Increased emphasis is being placed on pork safety at the production level. There is a need to reduce Salmonella infections in swine. Biosecurity principles and practices are becoming more important in swine production to reduce Toxoplasma infections from rodents, cats, dogs and birds.


Iowa Regional Swine Conferences were set up across Iowa, with the help of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, in order to address these and other swine herd health problems. A discussion of disease and prevention included Circovirus and associated diseases, managing porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, antibiotic free pigs, reducing medication costs, biosecurity principles and practices. These conferences provide some of the latest swine health-related information for producers, veterinarians and pork producers. The speakers and their topics included: Pat Halbur from ISU, "Circovirus and associated diseases" and "Managing PRRS and PRDC"; Dennis DiPietre, from Columbia, MO, "Global trends in the pork industry"; David Pyburn from USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, "Biosecurity principles and practices for all farms"; and John Schiltz, Iowa State veterinarian, "PRV: the end?"


Sixty-eight producers in attendance marketed 2.725 million pigs. Of the nine topics, five rated four or better on a five-point scale. The other four topics rated better than 3.7. Eighty-four percent rated the total program 'Excellent' or 'Superior'. Some of the topics that are most likely to be adopted are; monitor water quality, better pig management, herdsmanship and disease detection and treatment. Others stated that they would do a better job of biosecurity. Twenty percent of the participants indicated that the level of income would increase less than $1,000, but 80 percent stated that the income level would increase more that $1,000. Twenty-nine percent indicated that their income level would increase by more that $5,000.

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