How is it possible that a virus that causes an acute infection in an animal can remain on a farm throughout time?
Gerard E. Martin Valls
Reasearcher at the Animal Health Research Centre (Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal, IRTA). Spain
Graduate and PhD in Veterinary Science/Medicine from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB).
His investigations focus on swine infectious diseases and especially on the epidemiology and control of the porcine respiratory viruses. He is the author of articles on this subject published at a national and international level.
Updated CV 01-Apr-2015
What is a priority and what is not? It depends on the risks and the PRRSV status of the farm…
Swine influenza viruses are diverse at genetic and antigenic level, resulting in a limited cross-reactivity in viruses sharing a common ancestor or belonging to a same subtype.
There are many open topics, such as: 1) what is the impact of the disease in endemic situations at the reproductive level (irregular return to estrus / fertility), especially in gilts; or 2) what is the productive impact in farrowing units, especially when we know that suckling piglets can play a role as a reservoir of the virus in an endemically infected farm.
Pigs can act as a source of new influenza strains with zoonotic potential, but the increase of the genetic diversity of the swine influenza viruses is largely due to the introduction of influenza strains of human origin. Therefore, it is highly recommended that all staff that has frequent contact with pigs should be vaccinated against influenza.
Genetic and antigenic diversity of influenza virus should be understood as something dynamic and constantly evolving. So, it is crucial to encourage active surveillance of SIV in order to improve our knowledge of the SIV strains present in the European pig and their particular prevalence and impact in swine production.